Every third candidate in the ongoing UP assembly elections is facing a criminal charge, including some for serious crimes like rape, murder and kidnapping, while crorepatis account for a similar percentage of those in the fray, an analysis of their self-declared affidavits showed today. The seven-phase elections will end on March 8 while the campaign for the final phase has already entered its last lap.
According to an analysis of self-sworn affidavits of total 4,823 candidates in this election (out of 4853 overall in the fray) by the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 859 have disclosed criminal cases against them (18 per cent) and further 704 have serious criminal cases (15 per cent).
ADR said 31 candidates were not analysed due to unclear affidavit available on the ECI website.
It found as many as 1,457 crorepati candidates across the seven phases (30 per cent), while the overall average asset of those in the fray stood at Rs 1.91 crore.
The share of those with criminal cases stood at 19 per cent in the UP assembly polls in 2012, while the number of candidates with serious criminal cases, including cases related to rape, murder, kidnapping, communal disharmony and crime against women, has gone up from 8 per cent in the last elections.
ADR said 62 candidates have declared cases related to murder, while 148 candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder in the ongoing elections.
A total of 38 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women, including ten related to rape.
The number of candidates with cases related to kidnapping is 34, while 22 have declared cases related to communal disharmony and 63 about electoral violations.
On party-wise analysis, ADR said 150 out of 400 candidates from the BSP (40 per cent)) have declared criminal cases, while the same for the BJP is 36 per cent and for the SP it is 37 per cent and 32 per cent in case for the Congress.
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In terms of serious criminal cases, the BSP has 31 per cent such candidates, followed by 29 per cent for the SP, 26 per cent for the BJP and 22 per cent for the Congress.
As many as 152 constituencies (38 per cent) in the UP assembly polls have three or more candidates with declared criminal cases.
On financial background of candidates, ADR said as many as 453 of them have declared wealth of Rs 5 crore or more, while the number of crorepati candidates has gone up sharply from 1,319 (20 per cent) in 2012 polls.
For the BSP, 84 per cent candidates are crorepatis, while this ratio for the BJP and the SP stands at 79 per cent each and at 66 per cent in case of the Congress.
The average asset of the BSP candidates is Rs 6.27 crore, while the same for the BJP is Rs 5 crore and Rs 4.38 crore for the SP.
The average asset of the Congress candidates is Rs 6.3 crore, while that of independent candidates was found to be over Rs 70 lakh.
There are 13 candidates who have declared Zero assets in their self sworn affidavits, including two in Varanasi where voting will take place in the last phase.
There are 411 (excluding candidates with zero assets) candidates who have declared assets below Rs 1 lakhs.
A total of 1,210 (25 per cent) out of the 4,823 candidates analysed have not declared their PAN details.
ADR said 2,790 (58 per cent) out of 4,823 candidates analysed have not declared income tax details, but added that some candidates may be exempted from filing Income Tax Returns.
There are also 218 candidates with assets worth more than Rs 1 crore who have not declared Income Tax details.
On educational details, the ADR said 41 per cent (1991 candidates) are between fifth pass and 12th pass, while 48 per cent (2299) are graduate and above. A total of 356 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 54 candidates are illiterates.
According to the analysis, 3334 (69 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years while 1440 (30 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years.
Seven candidates have declared they are more than 80 years old, 40 candidates have not disclosed their age details and two candidates declared their age below 24 years.
On gender details, the ADR said 445 (9%) women candidates are contesting in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election this year. Out of 6590 candidates analysed in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2012, 527 (8%) candidates were women.