'28 pc candidates contesting in WB polls phase-6 have declared criminal cases against themselves'

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New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) Of the 306 candidates contesting in the sixth phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls, 28 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The West Bengal Election Watch and the ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all the 306 candidates in 43 constituencies, who are contesting in the sixth phase of the West Bengal polls to be held on April 22.

'Of the 306 candidates, 87 (28 per cent) have declared criminal cases and 71 (23 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves,' the ADR said.

Among the major parties, 14 of the 23 (61 per cent) candidates from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), 25 of the 43 (58 per cent) candidates from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 24 of the 43 (56 per cent) candidates from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and five of the 12 (42 per cent) Congress candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Twelve of the 23 (52 per cent) CPI(M) candidates, 20 of the 43 (47 per cent) BJP candidates, 20 of the 43 (47 per cent) TMC candidates and four of the 12 (33 per cent) Congress candidates analysed have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

The report further said 19 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women.

'Of the 19, one has declared cases related to rape (IPC section 376),' it said.

The report further said five candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC section 302) and 22 have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC section 307) against themselves.

Twelve of the 43 constituencies that will go to polls in the sixth phase are 'red-alert' constituencies. 'Red-alert' constituencies are those where three or more candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Of the 306 candidates, 66 (22 per cent) are crorepatis, the report said.

Twenty-eight of the 43 (65 per cent) TMC candidates, 19 of the 43 (44 per cent) BJP candidates, two of the 12 (25 per cent) Congress candidates and four of the 23 (17 per cent) CPI(M) candidates analysed have declared assets valued at more than Rs one crore.

The report also said 129 (42 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between the 5th and 12th standards, while 165 (54 per cent) have declared an educational qualification of graduate or above. Four candidates are diploma holders, seven are just literate while one is illiterate.

Eighty-five (28 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 162 (53 per cent) have declared their age to be between 41 and 60 years. There are 59 (19 per cent) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 and 80 years.

The report said 27 (nine per cent) female candidates are contesting in the sixth phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls. PTI UZM RC