26% Candidates Contesting Phase 7 West Bengal Polls Declared Criminal Cases Against Themselves: ADR

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Twenty-six per cent of the 284 candidates contesting in the phase seven of the West Bengal Assembly polls this year have declared criminal cases against themselves, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms stated. The West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 284 candidates from 36 constituencies contesting in the polls to be held on April 26.

“Out of 284 candidates analysed, 73 (26 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. About 60 (21 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves,” the poll rights body said. Among the major parties, 9 (69 per cent) out of 13 candidates analysed from the CPI(M), 19 (53 per cent) out of 36 candidates analysed from the AITC, 19 (53 per cent) out of 36 candidates analysed from the BJP and 9 (47per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the Congress have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Among the major parties, 7(54 per cent) out of 13 candidates analysed from the CPI(M), 16(44 per cent) out of 36 candidates analysed from the BJP, 14(39 per cent) out of 36 candidates analysed from the AITC and 7(37 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the Congress have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits. Eighteen candidates have declared cases related to crime against women and three candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves.

About 14 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves. The report further said that 13 (36 per cent) out of 36 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 out of the 284 candidates, 65(23 per cent) are crorepatis. Among the major parties, 26(72 per cent) out of 36 candidates analysed from the AITC, 11(58 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the Congress, 13(36 per cent) out of 36 candidates analysed from the BJP and 1(8 per cent) out of 13 candidates analysed from the CPI(M) have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

A total of 143 (50 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between class 5 and 12, while 134 (47 per cent) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. Six candidates are diploma holders and one candidate is just literate.

The report said 98(35 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 139(49 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 and 60 years. There are 47(17 per cent) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 and 80 years.

The report said 37(13 per cent) female candidates are contesting in the phase seven of the assembly polls.

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