Gujarat Elections: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is making its first foray in the Gujarat Assembly elections, has fielded the maximum number of candidates with criminal background, an analysis of the candidates contesting in the first phase of elections has shown. According to the analysis by Gujarat Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms, the findings for which were released on Thursday, AAP tops the list followed by Congress and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), respectively.
Among the major parties, 32 (36 per cent) out of 88 candidates analysed from AAP, 31 (35 per cent) out of 89 candidates analysed from INC, 14 (16 per cent) out of 89 candidates analysed from BJP, and 4 (29 per cent) out of 14 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases – December 1 and December 5, and the counting of votes will take place on December 8.
Of the 788 candidates analysed, 21 per cent of the candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. The report which has analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 788 candidates who are contesting in the Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase I, which is scheduled on December 1, 167 candidates have declared criminal cases, and 100 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, which accounts for 13 per cent.
As per the report, there has been a jump in the number of candidates with criminal antecedents. In the 2017 elections phase 1, out of the 923 candidates who were analysed, 137 candidates, which accounted for 15 per cent, had declared criminal cases, and 78 candidates (8 per cent) had declared serious criminal charges against themselves.
In 2017 phase 1 elections, the Congress had 31 candidates out of the 86 candidates analysed who had declared their criminal backgrounds, while in the 2022 state elections, of the 89 candidates, 31 have criminal backgrounds.
For the BJP, out of the 89 candidates analysed in 2017, 22 had criminal charges against them, and in the 2022 phase 1 elections, out of the 89 candidates, 14 have criminal backgrounds; a drop from 25 per cent in 2017 to 16 per cent in 2022 Gujarat elections.
A total of 9 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women, while three candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302), and 12 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.