West Bengal Election 2021: Candidates with criminal record hold higher chances of victory, shows ADR report

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Updated: Mar 30, 2021 6:01 PM

West Bengal Election 2021: Out of 6163 candidates analysed, 5042 candidates have not declared any criminal cases, whereas 1121 candidates declared criminal cases against themselves.

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021ADR & West Bengal Election Watch have analysed the MPs/MLAs and candidates' financial and criminal cases in elections since 2004. (PTI)

West Bengal Election 2021: In an apparent indication of the use of muscle and money power in elections, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW) has shown that candidates with criminal records have higher winning chances against those with clean records. The report showed that there are only 15 per cent chance of a candidate with a clean record winning an election while those with criminal records have a 28 per cent chance of winning an election.

ADR & West Bengal Election Watch have analysed the MPs/MLAs and candidates’ financial and criminal cases in elections since 2004. “A total of 6163 candidates who have contested either Parliamentary or State assembly elections since 2004 from West Bengal have been analyzed by ADR and WBEW. A total of 1081 MPs/MLAs who have held seats either in the Parliament or State assembly since 2004 from West Bengal have also been analyzed by ADR and WBEW,” it said.

The report claimed that 18 per cent or 1121 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves while 833 or 14 per cent candidates out of these 6163 analysed have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. “Out of 1081 MPs/MLAs analysed since 2004, 310 or 29 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves and 238 or 22 per cent have serious criminal cases,” it stated.

The average assets of all candidates analysed since 2004 is Rs 1.16 crores while the average assets of all MPs/MLAs analysed since 2004 is Rs 1.04 crores.

“The average assets of 310 MPs/MLAs (analyzed since 2004) with declared criminal cases is Rs.89.86 Lakhs and for 238 MPs/MLAs with declared serious criminal cases has been Rs.88.95 Lakhs. Analysis of the data has revealed that money power and muscle power have a large bearing on the outcome of the election results,” said the report.

The report said that 180(23%) out of 774 candidates who have contested on BJP tickets since 2004 have declared criminal cases against themselves. “138 (35%) out of 393 candidates who have contested on INC tickets since 2004, 276 (31%) out of 882 AITC candidates, 156 (22%) out of 716 CPI(M) candidates, 19 (4%) out of 458 BSP candidates, 8 (15%) out of 54 CPI candidates and 146 (12%) out of 1252 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases,” it reported.

Detailing the figure of party wise candidates with serious criminal cases, the ADR report showed that 132 (17%) out of 774 candidates who have contested on BJP tickets since 2004 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. For Congress, the number stands at 94 (24%) out of 393 candidates, 202 (23%) out of 882 AITC candidates, 112 (16%) out of 716 CPI(M) candidates, 14 (3%) out of 458 BSP candidates, 5 (9%) out of 54 CPI candidates and 119 (10%) out of 1252 independent candidates have serious criminal cases declared against them.

“17 (59%) out of 29 MPs/MLAs elected on BJP tickets since 2004 have declared criminal cases against themselves. 55 (43%) out of 127 MPs/MLAs elected on INC tickets since 2004, 171 (32%) out of 530 AITC MPs/MLAs, 41 (15%) out of 274 CPI (M) MPs/MLAs and 6 (60%) out of 10 Independent MPs/MLAs have declared criminal cases,” it said.

When it comes to serious criminal cases, 14 (48%) out of 29 MPs/MLAs elected on BJP tickets since 2004 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. 40 (31%) out of 127 Congress MPs/MLAs, 131 (25%) out of 530 Trinamool Congress MPs/MLAs, 32 (12%) out of 274 CPI (M) MPs/MLAs and 6 (60%) out of 10 Independent MPs/MLAs have declared serious criminal cases.

Out of 6163 candidates analysed, 5042 candidates have not declared any criminal cases, whereas 1121 candidates declared criminal cases against themselves. Also, there have been 771 MPs/MLAs out of 1081 MPs/MLAs analysed who have not declared any criminal cases against themselves.

Elections in West Bengal are scheduled in eight phases starting April 27 with results being declared on May 2.

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