Of the 673 candidates in the fray for the 2015 Delhi Assembly election, 188 (around 27%) have declared criminal cases against themselves.
Delhi Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 673 candidates who are contesting the upcoming Delhi polls. According to the report, 114 (17%) out of 673 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. Apart from this, 74 others (11%) have serious criminal offences against them.
Candidates with the most number of criminal cases against them include some big names. The most number of cases (13) is against Shoaib Iqbal of Congress, who is contesting from Matia Mahal. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has 10 cases against him and AAP leader Manish Sisodia has six cases against him. The candidate with third highest number of criminal cases is Manjinder Singh Sirsa of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) with nine cases.
When contacted, Shoaib Iqbal said that he has himself declared the charges against him and nothing has been proven in any case till date. He also said most of the charges were due to his public protests or demonstrations and could not be deemed serious.
“All the cases against candidates from AAP are related to our movement and protests against corruption, which included protests, dharnas and gherao. In such instances the police always register cases,” said an AAP spokesperson. “None of the charges are for heinous crimes such as murder, rape or extortion,” he added.
Sirsa said that the charges against him are political in nature for defacement or protests and there no serious criminal cases against him.