The winning candidates with criminal and serious criminal cases pending against them polled a higher vote share (44 per cent) compared with candidates with a clean record (43 per cent) in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. The surprising revelation has been made by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Friday in a report analysing the vote share and representativeness of elected candidates in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls held in February-March this year. In Uttarakhand, however, candidates with clean record won with a marginally higher vote share (48 per cent) compared with those with criminal record (47 per cent). In both the states, the maximum number of all candidates won with a vote share between 41 per cent to 50 per cent.
In a positive trend for the Indian democracy, the ADR report said in both the states, the vote share of the winning candidates also significantly increased compared with 2012 assembly elections. “The winners of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections won by an average of 43 per cent of total votes polled. In 2012 elections, winners won by an average of 35 per cent of total votes polled,” the report noted.
It added that similarly, the vote share of winning candidates in Uttarakhand also increased from 39 per cent in 2012 to 47 per cent in 2017. In terms of representativeness of the elected candidates — which the ADR defines as the portion of the total electorate that the candidate represents — the report says that in both the states, it increased by five per cent over 2012.
In Uttar Pradesh, the winners on an average represented 26 per cent of the total electorate this year compared with 21 per cent in 2012, ADR said. Similarly in Uttarakhand, the representativeness rose from 26 per cent in 2012 to 31 per cent in 2017. The percentage of representation is calculated by dividing the votes polled for the winner by the electorate, that is the total number of registered voters.