Abdul Bari Masoud | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — The influence of criminals and moneybags has been growing with each election in India. In the Uttarakhand Assembly Elections, 14 percent candidates have a criminal background while 31 percent are big moneybags or crorepatis (millionaires). The BJP, the party with a difference, incidentally has the largest number of candidates with criminal background and massive wealth than the other parties.
This was revealed by the Uttarakhand Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) Monday. It analyzed the self-sworn affidavits of all 637 candidates from 34 political parties, including six national parties, four state parties, 24 unrecognized parties and 261 independent candidates, who are contesting in the Uttarakhand Assembly Elections to be held on February 15, 2017.
The study shows that out of the 637 candidates, at least 91(14%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves while 54 candidates have been facing serious criminal cases. Out of these, five candidates have cases related to murder and while other five have cases related to attempt to murder.
At least 19 (27%) out of 70 candidates from Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), 17(24%) out of 70 candidates from Indian National Congress (INC), 7 (10%) out of 69 candidates from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 4 (7%) out of 55 candidates from Uttarakhand Kranti Dal ( UKD), 2(10%) out of 20 candidates from Samajwadi Party (SP) and 32(12%) out of 261 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases
10 (14%) out of 70 candidates from BJP, 12(17%) out of 70 candidates from INC, 6(9%) out of 69 candidates from BSP, 3 (6%) out of 55 candidates from UKD, 2(10%) out of 20 candidates from SP and 14(5%) out of 261 Independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases including murder, attempt to murder, crime against women, kidnapping etc. against themselves in their affidavits.
The study also reveals growing clout of wealth in the electoral politics. Out of the 637 candidates, as many as 200 candidates (31%) are crorepatis. 52 (74%) out of 70 candidates from INC, 48(69%) out of 70 candidates from BJP, 19 (28%) out of 69 candidates from BSP, 13 (24%) out of 55 candidates from UKD, 4 (20%) out of 20 candidates from SP and 53 (20%) out of 261 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.
The average of assets per candidate contesting in the elections is Rs 1.57 Crores. Among the major parties, the average assets per candidate for 70 BJP candidates is Rs 4.20 Crores, 70 INC candidates have average assets of Rs 3.08 Crores, 69 BSP candidates have average assets worth Rs 1.55 Crores, 55 UKD candidates have average assets worth Rs 77.07 lakhs, and 20 SP candidates have worth Rs 50.32 Lakhs, and 261 while independent have Rs. 1.04 Crores.