18% criminals, 29% crorepatis: The candidates five states will choose from

18% criminals, 29% crorepatis: The candidates five states will choose from

18% criminals, 29% crorepatis: The candidates five states will choose from

According to a survey released on Tuesday, almost 18% of the candidates running in the Assembly polls in five states have criminal cases filed against them, and 29% are “crorepatis.”

The self-sworn affidavits of 8,051 of the 8,054 candidates running in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana were reviewed by the think tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). 2,117 candidates from national parties, 537 from state parties, 2,051 from registered unrecognised parties, and 3,346 independent candidates make up the 8,051 candidates that were examined.

As per the research, 959 candidates (12%) have major criminal cases against them, while 1,452 candidates have criminal cases against them.

A total of twenty-two candidates have disclosed cases pertaining to self-mutilation, eighty-two have disclosed cases involving attempted murder, and 107 have disclosed cases concerning crimes against women.

“The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in the five state Assembly elections in 2023 as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to candidates with criminal cases. All major parties contesting in the five state Assembly elections have given tickets to candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves,” the report said.

In its directives dated February 13, 2020, the supreme court requested political parties to explain their selection process and questioned why those without criminal records could not be chosen to run for office.

It was noted that political parties fielded candidates with criminal records citing grounds such as the candidate’s “popularity,” “does good social work,” “cases are politically motivated,” etc.

“These are not sound and cogent reasons for fielding candidates with tainted backgrounds. This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers,” the report said.

According to the report, 2,371 (or 29% of the candidates) are “crorepatis,” or those with assets exceeding Rs 1 crore. These contestants have assets valued at an average of Rs 3.36 crore.

(With agency inputs)