16 pc candidates in Phase-1 of Assam assembly polls face criminal cases: ADR

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Sixteen per cent of the candidates contesting in the first phase of Assam assembly elections have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The Assam Election Watch and ADR have analysed the sworn affidavits of 259 out of the 264 candidates in the first phase.

Out of 259 candidates analysed, 41 (16 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves and 34 (13 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, the ADR said.

The report said out of 259 candidates, 101 (39 per cent) are crorepatis.

Giving educational background, the report said 97 (37 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard, while 157 (61 per cent) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. Four candidates are diploma holders and one candidate is just literate.

The report said 67 (26 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 153 (59 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 and 60 years. 'There are 38 (15 per cent) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 and 70 years. One candidate has declared his age 85 years,' the report said.

Giving gender details of the candidates, the report said 25 (10 per cent) women candidates are contesting in the first phase.

Among the major parties, 10 (23 per cent) out of 43 candidates analysed from the Congress, eight (20 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the Assam Jatiya Parishad, three (8 per cent) out of 39 candidates analysed from the BJP and one candidate each from the NCP, AGP and the SUCI(C) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Among the major parties, nine (21 per cent) out of 43 candidates analysed from the Congress, six (15 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the Assam Jatiya Parishad, three (8 per cent) out of 39 candidates analysed from the BJP and one candidate each from the NCP, AGP and the SUCI(C) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences with over five years of imprisonment.

Five candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. 'Out of five candidates, one candidate has declared cases related to rape (IPC Section-376),' the report said.

Two candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves and four candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.

'Three (6 per cent) out of 47 constituencies are Red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves,' the report said.

'The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in Phase 1 of the Assam Assembly Elections 2021 as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 16 per cent candidates with criminal cases,' the report said.

Giving financial background of the candidates, the report said among the major parties nine (90 per cent) out of 10 candidates analysed from the AGP, 31(72 per cent) out of 43 candidates analysed from the Congress, 28 (72 per cent) out of 39 candidates analysed from the BJP and 15 (37 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the Assam Jatiya Parishad have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

'The average of assets per candidate contesting in the Assam Assembly Elections 2021 Phase I is Rs 1.84 crore,' the report said.

Elections to the 126-member Assam assembly will be held in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6. PTI UZM SMN SMN