Thirty-four of the 203 Lok Sabha election candidates named by various political outfits so far have criminal cases they declared in previous elections, the Association for Democratic Reforms said on Thursday.
Out of the 203 candidates announced by political parties till March 2, 70 candidates contested assembly or general elections in the past.
Based on the affidavits submitted by them during the past elections, the ADR said 34 candidates declared 224 criminal cases against them.
Twenty of these candidates declared serious criminal cases against them — four have cases of murder or attempt to murder registered against them.
“The current analysis of the candidates fielded by some of the political parties in their first list shows that political parties continue to give tickets to candidates with serious criminal cases,” the ADR’s report said.
Twelve of the Shiv Sena’s candidates have criminal records, while the BJP has 13 out of their 32 candidates with criminal cases. The AIADMK the NCP have one and eight candidates with criminal records respectively.
Average assets of the 70 candidates who contested elections in the past stood at Rs. 5.76 crores, according to the report.
The average assets of 13 NCP candidates was Rs. 17.10 crore, followed by five candidates of the SAD with average assets of Rs. 16.30 crore.
Fourteen candidates of the Shiv Sena have average assets of Rs. 2.16 crore, while 32 candidates of the BJP have average assets of Rs. 1.81 crore.
Out of the 70, 36 candidates have declared total assets of more than Rs. 1 crore.
Those with declared assets breaching the crore-mark are: Praful Patel (sitting MP) of the NCP — Rs. 125.46; Harsimrat Kaur Badal (sitting MP) of the SAD — Rs. 60.31 crores and Supriya Sule (sitting MP) of the NCP — Rs. 50.45 crores.
In September last year, when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tore into an ordinance seeking to protect convicted lawmakers, he said, “It is time to stop this nonsense, political parties, mine and all others...If you want to fight corruption in the country... we cannot continue making these small compromises.”
All possible deterrents — the Supreme Court ruling barring convicted lawmakers from continuing in Parliament or assemblies, Gandhi’s criticism of the ordinance and the UPA government’s subsequent U-turn, and the conviction of RJD chief Lalu Prasad in a 17-year-old fodder scam — seem to have failed in making an impact.