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Bihar Assembly Polls: 31% Candidates in Phase 3 Have Criminal Cases Against Them, Says ADR Report

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About 282 or 24 per cent have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Serious criminal cases are nonbailable offences attracting over five years of imprisonment, the report said.

Out of 1,195 candidates contesting in phase-3 of the Bihar assembly elections later this week, 31 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). About 282 or 24 per cent have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences attracting over five years of imprisonment, the report said.

As many as 361 or 30 per cent of these candidates have stated their financial assets to be worth crores of rupees, the report said. Out of 1,195 candidates analyzed, 371 or 31 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves, it said. According to the report, 32 (73 per cent) out of 44 candidates analysed from the RJD have declared criminal cases against themselves and 22 (50 per cent) of them have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

About 26 (76 per cent) out of 34 candidates analysed from the BJP have declared criminal cases against themselves and 22 (65 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, the report said. It said about 19 (76 per cent) out of 25 candidates analysed from the Congress have declared criminal cases against themselves and 14 (56 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

About 18 (43 per cent) out of 42 candidates analysed from the LJP, 21 (57 per cent) out of 37 candidates analysed from the JD(U) and 5 (26 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the BSP have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits. Eleven (26 per cent) out of 42 candidates analysed from LJP, 11 (30 per cent) out of 37 candidates analysed from JD(U) and 4 (21 per cent) out of 19 candidates analysed from the BSP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

As many as 37 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women and five of them have declared cases related to rape, the report said. The report said 20 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves and 73 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.

As many as 72 (92 per cent) out of 78 constituencies are red alert constituencies, i.e. those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, it said. The findings of the report were unveiled at a press briefing by the ADR.

Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member and trustee of ADR and National Election Watch, said the directions of the Supreme Court have had "no effect" on the political parties in selection of candidates as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to candidates with criminal cases. "All major parties contesting in Bihar Phase III elections have given tickets to 26 per cent to 76 per centcandidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves," he said. The Supreme Court in its directions in February hadasked political parties to give reasons for selecting candidates with criminal backgrounds and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

"This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers," Chhokar said. The details of the financial background of the candidates was also given in the report.

"Out of the 1,195 candidates, 361 (30 per cent) are crorepatis. Among the major parties 31 (91 per cent) out of 34 candidates analysed from BJP, 17 (68 per cent) out of 25 candidates analysed from Congress, 35 (80 per cent) out of 44 candidates analysed from RJD, 30 (81 per cent) out of 37 candidates analysed from JD (U), 31 (74 per cent) out of 42 candidates analysed from LJP and 10 (53 per cent) out of 19 candidates from BSP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore," the report said. The average of assets per candidate contesting in the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 Phase III is Rs 1.47 crore, the report said.

"Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 25 INC candidates analysed is Rs. 2.57 crores, 37 JD(U) candidates analysed is Rs 3.31 crores, 44 RJD candidates have average assets of Rs 4.79 crores, 42 LJP candidates have average assets of Rs 3.14 crores, 34 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 3.86 crores and 19 BSP candidates have average assets worth Rs. 3.36 crore," it said.

The Bihar assembly elections are being held in three phases for a total of 243 seats — the first phase for 71 seats on October 28, the second phase for 94 seats on November 3 and the third phase for the remaining 78 will be held on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.


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