Uttar Pradesh elections: One in six candidates have criminal cases against them
Muslim women queue to cast their votes at a polling station. (File photo) If Uttar Pradesh -- a state in North India -- was a country, it would be the largest elections conducted across the world in 2017.
A total of 189 crorepati (ten million in Indian ruppes, which amounts to roughly $150,000) candidates will contest the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections to be held on February 23, while 116 have declared criminal cases against themselves, as per two poll-watchers.
If Uttar Pradesh -- a state in North India -- was a country, it would be the largest elections conducted across the world in 2017. The state is home to 204.2 million people and is nearly twice the size of England.
The state has been in the middle of a long, heated election campaign charaterised by its divisive tone.
Polling in the state started on February 11 and will be conducted on seven different dates until March 8. The election result will be announced on March 11.
Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) released the data after surveying the self-sworn affidavits of all 680 candidates from 98 political parties and independent candidates.
As per the report, "Out of 680 candidates, 189 are crorepatis. 45 out of 53 candidates from Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, 36 of 48 from Indian prime MInister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Part, 26 of 33 from ruling Samajwadi Party, 17 of 25 from Gandhis' Congress, 6 of 39 candidates from Rashtriya Lok Dal and 25 of 200 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore."
The average assets per candidate contesting in the fourth phase of UP assembly elections is Rs 1.90 crore (little over $283,000).
A total of 171 candidates have not declared their PAN details.
Out of 680 candidates analysed, 116 have declared criminal cases against themselves, ADR said.
The report further said that 95 candidates have declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.
Among party wise candidates with criminal cases, 19 from BJP, 12 from BSP, 9 from RLD, 13 from SP, 8 from Indian National Congress, and 24 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, ADR said.
In the third phase of the state's polling, 110 out of 813 contestants had at least one criminal case filed among them. Of them, 82 candidates have serious criminal records, including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women.