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91 candidates have criminal background

Of the 863 candidates contesting here, 91 have criminal cases pending against them. Both the Congress and the BJP have 19 candidates each with criminal backgrounds while the BSP has 15 such candidates, reports Atul Mathur. See coverage.

delhi Updated: Nov 22, 2008 00:38 IST
Atul Mathur

It's not just in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that people with criminal backgrounds contest assembly polls. Delhi is catching up.

Of the 863 candidates contesting here, 91 have criminal cases pending against them. Both the Congress and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) have 19 candidates each with criminal backgrounds while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has 15 such candidates. The rest 38 are either contesting as Independents or for smaller parties.

Delhi Election Watch, an independent body of non-government and apolitical organisations, compiled these facts. They examined 645 of 875 affidavits filed by candidates.

The three facing murder charges are Amit Kumar of Loktantrik Janshakti Party (Nerela), Suresh Chand of BJP (Ambedkar Nagar) and Hazi Afzal of BSP (Seelampur), the report said. Afzal has the dubious distinction of having the most number of cases against him — 20.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Jai Prakash Aggarwal said the party ensured no one with a criminal background got a ticket. “No candidate has charges of any heinous crime like murder or attempt to murder against him,” he said.

BJP Delhi state president Dr Harsh Vardhan said: “There is not even a single candidate with criminal background. Our topmost lawyers studied each and every case against our candidates.”

BSP state president Suman Saini said the party’s lawyers checked the details of each candidate before giving them a ticket. “Most cases are of minor nature,” Saini said.