Of the 302 candidates, whose poll affidavits were examined by a civil society group, 108 (35.76 per cent) are named accused in different sorts of criminal cases in Jharkhand. Various criminal cases are pending against them either before police or judiciary.
These 302 candidates are among total 470 who are contesting the Jharkhand Assembly elections from 26 seats going to the voting in the first phase on November 25.
Of the 108 candidates, 48 candidates (15.89 per cent of examined affidavits) are currently facing serious charges like committing murder and attempt to murder.
These startling revelations came to fore after a civil society group, comprising the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW), examined the affidavits of a total of 302 candidates contesting assembly elections from 26 seats of first phase. The analysis report of the affidavits was released here on Sunday.
The report also revealed that all major political parties used to give party symbol to candidates having serious charges of criminal acts like abduction, murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and road robbery.
Former chief minister Sibu Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has fielded its candidates from 25 seats, out of total 26 seats of the first phase. Of 25, 19 candidates have criminal cases pending against them. These candidates themselves have informed the respective returning officers (RO) about the criminal cases in their mandatory affidavits.
Similarly, the Congress has 11 candidates, out of total 18 candidates in the first phase, with criminal cases, followed by the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), which has nine candidates, out of 22, with pending criminal charges.
The JMM has seven candidates (28 per cent) out of 25 candidates contesting election with serious criminal charges followed by the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), which have five candidates with serious criminal charges.
Similarly, the Congress (five candidates), All India Trinamool Congress (five), the RJD (four) and the BJP have one candidate with serious criminal charges in the first phase.
Releasing the analysis report in Ranchi, the NEW's Jharkhand Coordinator Sudhir Pal said, they would prepare similar reports before every phase of polling in Jharkhand after examining the affidavits of candidates. Pal said, the NEW, a nationwide campaign comprising of hundreds of NGOs and other citizen- led organisations, had been working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in the country.