Seven out of 81 candidates contesting on five seats in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan have criminal backgrounds. This was revealed in the report released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Rajasthan Election Watch (REW) on Saturday here.
Association for Democratic Reforms and Rajasthan Election Watch officials, in Jaipur on Sunday. (Prabhakar Sharma/HT Photo)
Four candidates in the fray for five seats going to polls on April 24 have serious criminal charges, including criminal intimidation, extortion and charges of voluntarily causing hurt, against them. Suprisingly, the Aam Aadmi Party candidate for Bharatpur Gopal Paharia has one criminal charge against him.
“We have so far analysed 319 candidates in all 25 parliamentary seats in Rajasthan. It shows that 21 out of a total of 319 candidates have criminal record, in which nine candidates have serious criminal offences registered against them. About 92 out of 319 candidates in Rajasthan have assets of more than `1 crore,” Kamal Tank, convener of REW, said.
Voting for 20 seats has already been held in Rajasthan in the first phase on April 17.
The ADR report says that Dausa has been declared a red alert constituency by the Election Commission, as there are three candidates with criminal records.
Interestingly, candidates of both the BJP and the Congress in Dausa are retired officers of the Indian Police Services (IPS).
The report reveals that both the BJP and the Congress have given a ticket to 22 crorepatis each on 25 seats in the state, and the average asset of all their candidates is `10 crore and `11 crore respectively. However, in term of gender representation, the BJP falls far behind as it has given a ticket to only one woman candidate against six tickets given by the Congress. The AAP has not fielded any women candidate in Rajasthan out of 22 seats it is fighting in.
Seven out of 81 candidates in the fray in phase-II polls have assets below `1 lakh. Ramesh Panaval, an independent candidate in Alwar, has shown his total asset as `16,000, followed by Kanchan Bai in Karauli-Dholpur seat with `45,000 asset.