23 pc candidates contesting phase 8 WB polls declared criminal cases against themselves: ADR

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Out of the 283 candidates contesting in the last phase of the West Bengal polls, 23 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) stated.

The West Bengal Election Watch and the ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all the 283 candidates from 35 constituencies, who are contesting in the polls to be held on April 29.

'Out of 283 candidates analysed, 64 (23 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves and 50 (18 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves,' the report said.

Among the major parties, 7 (70 per cent) out of 10 candidates analysed from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), 11 (31 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the AITC, 21 (60 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the BJP and 10 (53 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the Congress have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Among the major parties, 2 (20 per cent) out of 10 candidates analysed from the CPI(M), 8 (23 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the All India Trinamool Congress, 18 (51 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the BJP and 9 (47 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the Congress have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Twelve candidates have declared cases related to crime against women while six candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302) against themselves.

The report said that 17 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.

The poll rights body said 11 (31 per cent) out of 35 constituencies are 'red alert' constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

The report further said that out of the 283 candidates, 55 (19 per cent) are crorepatis.

Among the major parties, 28 (80 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the AITC, 5 (26 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the Congress, 12 (34 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the BJP and 1 (10 per cent) out of 10 candidates analysed from the CPI(M) have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

The report said 52 (54 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between class 5 and 12, while 127 (45 per cent) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. Two candidates have declared themselves to be just literates and two candidates are illiterates.

In another report, the ADR said the average assets of 210 recontesting MLAs fielded by various parties, including independents in 2016, was Rs 1.38 crore and the average percentage growth in assets for them is 78 per cent.

'The average asset growth for these 210 recontesting MLAs, between the West Bengal Assembly elections of 2016 and 2021, is Rs 1.07 crore,' it said. PTI UZM KJ