As many as 132 crorepatis are in the fray for the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections scheduled on March 8, while 115 candidates have criminal cases against them.
Forty constituencies spread across seven districts will go to polls in the last phase. Percentage wise, 22% of the candidates have criminal records and 25% are crorepatis. At 22%, this phase has the maximum candidates with criminal records.
In the first phase, 21% candidates with criminal records were in the fray. On an average, 18% of the candidates across all phases have criminal records.
Of the 115 candidates, 95 face serious criminal charges, according to a report by UP Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms that analysed the affidavits of 528 of the 535 candidates in the last phase of the elections.
The report says 95 candidates have declared in their affidavits that serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, and harassment of women are pending against them. Nine candidates face cases of murder (Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code) and 15 candidates face attempt to murder (section 307 of IPC).
Six candidates face charges of harassment of women (Sections 354 and 376 of the IPC). Five candidates admitted that they have cases of kidnapping (Section 364, 364A 360 and 367 of the IPC) against them. Social activist Lenin Raghuvanshi released the report in Varanasi.
A party-wise break up shows 19 out of 31 SP candidates have criminal records followed by 17 of 40 BSP candidates, 13 of 31 BJP nominees, five out nine Congress candidates, four out of 21 RLD nominees, 1 out of 14 CPI candidates, and 22 out of 136 independent candidates.
In the seventh phase, 132 out of 528 candidates are crorepatis. This includes 32 out of 40 BSP candidates, 23 out of 31 BJP nominees, 21 out of 31 SP candidates, seven out of nine Congress nominees, seven of 21 RLD candidates and 18 out of 136 independents.
Bholanath, the BSP candidate from Madiyanhu in Jaunpur, is the richest in the fray with assets worth ₹51 crore.