As many as 34 out of the 315 candidates contesting in the first phase of Parliament elections for 22 constituencies in Andhra Pradesh face criminal charges, many of them very serious, while 64 contestants declared their assets worth more than Rs one crore each, an election monitoring organisation said in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
According to the report released by the Andhra Pradesh Election Watch Committee, 82 per cent (18 out of 22) of the candidates from Congress own assets worth more than Rs one crore each, followed by Praja Rajyam Party with 9, BJP 8, TDP and TRS 7 each, Independents 5, Lok Satta 3, BSP 2 and others.
This points to a very clear trend of growing money power in politics among parties across the spectrum, K Madhava Rao, a member of the AP Election Watch Committee and former chief secretary of AP government, said after releasing the report.
TDP candidate from Khammam Nama Nageswara Rao heads the list of richest contestants in first phase with a net
worth Rs 174 crore, he said.
Among major parties, the Congress and TDP have five candidates with criminal charges each, while the PRP has 4, BJP and TRS have 3 each, he said.
"The presence of tainted candidates casts a gloomy shadow on the expectations of people awaiting good governance," Madhava Rao said.