Mumbai: As many as 145 out of 1,256 candidates (12%) contesting the 2018 Chhattisgarh assembly elections analysed have declared criminal cases against themselves and 98 candidates have “serious” criminal cases, according to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an advocacy.

“Serious” criminal cases include attempt to murder, kidnapping & assault.

This is an increase from 11% (113 of 983) in 2013, the analysis show.

Crorepati candidates (assets more than Rs 1 crore) increased to 285, or 23%, from 213 (of 983 candidates analysed) in 2013.

ADR analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 1,256 of 1,269 candidates. The affidavits of 13 candidates were not analysed as they were badly scanned or complete affidavits were not available.

The elections are being held in two phases--the first phase was held on November 12, 2018 for 18 seats and the second phase polling will be on November 20, 2018 for 72 seats.

Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) has most candidates with criminal cases

Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J)--founded by former chief minister Ajit Jogi--has the most (32%, or 18 of 56) candidates with criminal cases against them, followed by Congress (28% or 25 of 90), Aam Aadmi Party (21% or 17 of 83), Bahujan Samaj Party (9% or 3 of 34), Bharatiya Janata Party (7% or 6 of 90) and independents (7% or 39 of 556).

As many as 18 of 90 (20%) constituencies are called “red alert constituencies” where three or more candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) also has the most (29% or 16 of 56) candidates with serious criminal cases, followed by Congress (17% or 15 of 90) and AAP (16% or 13 of 83).

Criteria for serious criminal cases:

  1. Offence for which maximum punishment is of 5 years or more.
  2. If an offence is non-bailable
  3. If it is an electoral offence (for eg. IPC 171E or bribery)
  4. Offence related to loss to exchequer
  5. Offences that are assault, murder, kidnap, rape related
  6. Offences that are mentioned in Representation of the People Act (Section 8)
  7. Offences under Prevention of Corruption Act

Source: Association for Democratic Reforms

BJP has most crorepati candidates

Crorepati candidates (with assets more than Rs 1 crore) increased from 213 of 983 (22%) analysed in 2013 to 285 of 1,256 (23%) candidates in 2018.

BJP has the most (82% or 74 of 90) crorepati candidates among the major parties, followed by Congress (73% or 66 of 90), Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) (70% or 39 of 56), BSP (41% or 14 of 34), AAP (16% or 13 of 83) and independents (9% or 52 of 556).

The average asset per candidate is Rs 1.68 crore; 19 candidates have declared zero assets.

About 60%, or 753 candidates, have not declared income tax details (some are exempted from filing returns) and 67 have not declared their source of income; 276 candidates have not declared their permanent account number details.

The most (25% or 309) candidates have declared their education as 12th pass, followed by post graduate (214), 10th pass (175), 8th pass (151) and graduate (146); six candidates have doctorates and nine are illiterate.

In 2018, 125 (or 10%) candidates analysed are women, up from 81 (8%) of 983 in 2013.

(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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