26% BJP Candidates, 15% from Congress Face Serious Criminal Charges, Says Study

The JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy named Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for the offer as the BJP, he said, was desperate to form a government and deny the JD-S a chance to form a government with Congress backing.

Bengaluru: BJP, Congress and JDS – the three main parties battling for supremacy in Karnataka - all made big promises about fighting crimes. However, when it comes to being entangled in criminal cases, the candidates they fielded this election were not far behind.

BJP’s 83 out of 224 candidates, or 37 percent, have declared criminal cases against themselves, followed by Congress whose 59 out of 220 candidates, or 27 percent candidates, have criminal cases against them, a report released by Association for Democratic Reforms, an NGO working in the area of electoral and political reforms, revealed.

JD(S), considered to be the third wheel in the electoral race, is third here too. Twenty-one percent of their candidates, or 41 out of 199, have criminal cases against them.

Besides the major parties, five out of 25 JDU candidates, 5 out of the 27 AAP candidates and 108 out of 1090 independent candidates declared criminal cases in their affidavits. When it comes to serious crimes, the BJP again topped the list.

These serious crimes are offences for which punishment is of five years or more and are non-bailable. These can be related to assault, murder, kidnap, rape or other crimes against women, or electoral offences mentioned in Representation of People Act and related to prevention of corruption act.

BJP with 58 (26%) out of 224 candidates has the highest number of candidates with serious criminal cases against them. The Congress, with 32 out of 220, and JD(S), with 29 out of 199, are tied here with both fielding 14.5% candidates with serious criminal cases against them.

Three out of 25 candidates from JDU, one out of 27 AAP candidates and 70 out of 1,090 independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

Overall, out of the 2560 candidates whose affidavits were analysed, 391 or 15 percent have declared criminal cases against themselves, 254 candidates have declared serious criminal cases, four have declared case related to murder, 25 have declared cases related to attempt to murder and 23 declared cases related to crime against women against them.

There are 56 (25%) red alert constituencies in this election, states the report. Red alert constituencies are those which have 3 or more candidates with declared criminal cases.