Criminalisation of politics has always been a concern, but parties brazenly field goondas, and citizens knowingly or unknowingly elect them.
The ongoing elections are no different. An analysis published by National Election Watch (NEW), a collective of more than 1,200 NGOs and citizen-led organisations, shows the rot going deeper than before.
NEW's report says 153 out of 355 candidates analysed (i.e. about 43 per cent) have criminal cases pending against them, as declared by them under oath.
All major parties have given tickets to candidates accused of extortion, murder, and such other culpable offences.
Here is a party-wise list of tainted candidates:
Eight out of 13 candidates contesting on Kerala Congress (M) tickets have criminal cases pending against them. That adds up to 62 per cent of tainted candidates.
The Congress is only slightly better. Thirty six of its 67 candidates