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Kerala Elections 2021: 355 Candidates Facing Criminal Cases, 75 Seats ‘Red Alert Constituencies’

People queue up to vote or the Kerala elections. (AP)

People queue up to vote or the Kerala elections. (AP)

BJP State President K. Surendran, who is contesting from two seats, Konni and Manjeshwaram, has declared 248 criminal cases against himself, including cases related to attempt to murder, maintenance of harmony, dacoity, robbery and criminal intimidation.

The Kerala Assembly polls will see the participation of at least 355 candidates who are facing criminal cases, up from 311 in 2016, a report from the Kerala Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) says. The report said 957 candidates are fighting for 140 constituencies in Kerala. Of these, the self-sworn affidavits of 928 candidates were analysed.

“Out of 928 candidates analysed, 364 are from national parties, 52 are from state parties, 201 are from registered unrecognised parties and 311 candidates are contesting independently,” the report, released on Thursday, said. It further said that 29 candidates were not analysed due to unclear affidavit available on the ECI website at the time of making the report.

“Out of 928 candidates analysed, 355 (38 percent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves,” it said, adding 167 (18 percent) candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

In the 2016 Kerala Assembly elections, out of 1,125 candidates analysed, 311 (28 percent) had declared criminal cases against themselves, including 138 (12 percent) candidates with declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

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In 2021, among the major parties,77 (89 percent) out of 87 candidates analysed from the Congress, 76 (71 percent) out of 107 candidates analysed from the BJP, 49 (68 percent) out of 72 candidates analysed from the CPI(M), 17 (68 percent) out of 25 candidates analysed from the IUML, 10 (44 percent) out of 23 candidates analysed from the CPI, four (33 percent) out of 12 candidates analysed from the Kerala Congress (M) and eight (11 percent) out of 72 candidates analysed from the BSP have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Among these, 47 candidates from the Congress and 38 from the BJP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

“19 (26 percent) out of 72 candidates analysed from CPI(M), six (24 percent) out of 25 candidates analysed from IUML, two (nine percent) out of 23 candidates analysed from CPI and six (eight percent) out of 72 candidates analysed from BSP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits,” the report said.

75 seats are ‘Red alert constituencies’

The report says that 75 (54 percent) out of 140 constituencies are ‘red alert constituencies’ —where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. It also said that the BJP candidate, BJP State President K. Surendran, who is contesting from two seats, Konni and Manjeshwaram, has declared 248 criminal cases against himself, including cases related to attempt to murder, maintenance of harmony, dacoity, robbery and criminal intimidation.

Dr K. S. Radhakrishnan of the BJP from Thripunithura has declared 211 criminal cases against himself, including cases related to attempt to commit culpable homicide, dacoity, house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment, and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, the report said.

Also, BJP’s Radhakrishnan, contesting from Manalur constituency, has declared 176 criminal cases against himself, including cases related to attempt to murder, dacoity, commit culpable homicide, criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, and house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment.

65 percent outgoing MLAs facing criminal charges

In a report released in March 2021, the ADR and the Kerala Election Watch analysed the criminal background details of 132 out of 140 sitting MLAs. In the current Assembly, four seats are vacant and four MLAs were not analysed due to unavailability of their properly scanned and complete affidavits.

“Out of 132 sitting MLAs analysed, 86 (65 percent) MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves. 28 (21 percent) MLAs have declared serious criminal cases,” the March report said, adding two MLAs have declared cases related to murder (IPC section 302) and six MLAs have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC section 307).

One MLA has declared cases related to Crime against Women (IPC section 354), it said. In terms of political parties, 51 (91 percent) out of 56 MLAs from CPI(M), 12 (63 percent) out of 19 MLAs from CPI, nine (45 percent) out of 20 MLAs from the Congress, five (28 percent) out of 18 MLAs from IUML and four (67 percent) out of six

Independent MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits. Among these, 18 from CPI(M), three from CPI, two from IUML and five from the Congress have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.