Forty seven candidates with criminal records are present in the electoral fray for the first phase of elections in Karnataka being held on May 10, an organisation said.
Among the major parties, the BJP has 12 candidates with criminal record, BSP nine, the Congress 10, JDS 13, JDU and Samajwadi party and Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha (KCVP) one each, the organisation, which conducted a study, said.
All the major parties have candidates with criminal records, said Trilochan Sastry, who is part of the team responsible for the findings. The criminal charges include rioting, criminal assault and criminal breach of trust.
There are at least eight candidates from major parties with murder or attempt to murder cases against them, he said.
However, an important point to note was that the percentage of candidates with criminal records has shown a decline since 2004. The number of candidates fielded by BJP with criminal records has declined from 28 in 2004 to 12 this year while the Congress figures have dipped from 12 to 10 and the JDS has seen a drop from 20 last polls to 14 this year.
The candidates with criminal records are sometimes chosen because of their ability to unleash terror and to secure funds for the party, he said adding "The overall quality of candidates leaves much to be desired. A lot of candidates are from
the real estate, liquor, mining and other business".
There are 14 candidates who have declared assets of over Rs 30 crore, of this five are from BJP, seven from Congress, and two from the JDS, he said.
The organisation was set up the Association for Democratic Reforms, an independent non-partisan organisation.