The influence of criminals on Bihar’s politics appears to have waned, but they are still not out of the system.
According to a study by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), of the 808 candidates in the fray for 50 seats in the third phase on October 28, about 27% or 215 have declared that they have criminal cases lodged against them.
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has 68% of such candidates, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 62%, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) 56%, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) 48% and Congress 40%.
A little more than 20% (162) of these candidates are facing serious cases relating to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, sexual assaults, communal disharmony, etc.
In the first three phases of assembly elections in the state, 29% candidates have pending criminal cases against them. This is lower than the 39% in 2005 and 36% in 2010, says ADR.
The ADR also found that 25% of the candidates in the third phase have assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore. The average asset of seven Congress candidates is worth Rs. 5.88 crore while that of 25 RJD candidates is Rs. 4.66 crore. The average asset of JD(U)’s 18 candidates is Rs. 2.43 crore and of Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) 47 candidates is Rs. 2.21 crore.
The 34 candidates of the BJP have an average asset of Rs. 2.06 crore and ally LJP’s 10 candidates have Rs. 2.62 crore. The 276 independent candidates have average assets of Rs. 4.59 crore.
Two independent candidates, Yugeshwar Manjhi from Asthawan constituency and Kumar Rajiv from Fatwah, have declared in their affidavits that they have zero assets.
The BJP has the most crorepati candidates though RJD has a higher percentage of such candidates. The breakup is BJP 26 (74%), RJD 20 (80%), BSP 13 (28%), JD(U) 12 (72%), Congress 5 (71%) and independents 52 (19%).
Bihar has the lowest per capita income, but the average asset per candidate in the third phase is Rs. 2.40 crore.
* 31 candidates have declared cases related to murder
* 5 of them are from BJP and 4 from Grand Alliance
* 9 independent candidates face murder cases
* 57 have cases of attempt to murder
* 12 have cases related to crimes against women
* 4 face cases relating to causing communal disharmony
* 13 have cases related to robbery and dacoity
* 13 have cases related to kidnapping