Twenty-one per cent of the Congress candidates and 15 per cent of the BJP nominees for the second phase of the Gujarat assembly polls have declared “serious criminal cases against themselves”, according to a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Friday.
The Gujarat Election Watch and the ADR have analysed the affidavits of 822 out of 851 candidates, who are contesting in the second phase of the assembly election slated for 14 December, the ADR said in a statement.
“Out of 822 candidates analysed, 101 (12 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. As many as 64 (8 per cent) candidates have declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, etc.,” the ADR claimed in the statement.
It further said that affidavits of the rest 29 candidates have “not been analysed” as these were “either badly scanned or the complete affidavits were not available on the ECI website”.
“Among the major parties, 13 (15 per cent) out of 86 candidates from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); 18 (21 per cent) out of 88 candidates from the Indian National Congress (INC); 2 (3 per cent) out of 74 candidates from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits,” it said.
“Three (11 per cent) out of 27 candidates from NCP; one (14 per cent) out of seven candidates from AAP, and 14 (4 per cent) out of the 344 Independent candidates analysed” have also declared “serious criminal cases against themselves” in their affidavits, it claimed.
There are 12 (13 per cent) out of 93 constituencies in the second phase of the elections, where “three or more candidates” are in the fray who have declared criminal cases, the ADR said. “Two candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code section-302) while seven candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC-307),” it said.
The ADR also alleged that “two candidates have declared cases related to rape (IPC section 376) and two candidates have declared case related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC section 354)”. There are 66 candidates (8 per cent) who have declared an asset worth Rs5 crore and above in the affidavit, it said.
Out of the 822 candidates, 199 (24 per cent) are crorepatis. Among the major parties 66 (77 per cent) out of 86 candidates from BJP; 67 (76 per cent) out of 88 candidates from the Congress; 10 (37 per cent) out of 27 from the NCP; 5 (71 per cent) of out of 7 from the AAP; 3 (4 per cent) out of 74 candidates from the BSP and 31 (per cent) out of the 344 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs1 crore, the ADR report claimed.
The average assets per candidate for “BJP candidates is Rs 7.80 crore; for INC candidates is Rs 9.8 crore; for BSP candidates Rs 21.35 lakh; for NCP worth Rs 1.5 crore; for AAP Rs 2.8 crore; and for the 344 Independent candidates, the average assets worth Rs 85.35 lakh,” it said. Four candidates, all Independents have declared “zero assets” in their self-sworn affidavits, it added.