Criminals appears to hold sway in UP assembly elections. About 25 per cent of the candidates in fray for the first two phases have a criminal record, says an UP Election Watch. The NGO has analysed affidavits of about 1,500 candidates in fray in the two phases.
If one looks at party wise allocation of tickets to those with criminal record, BSP leads the pack with 33 per cent, followed by BJP 27 per cent, Samajwadi Party 26 per cent and the Congress 20 per cent.
Pawan Rana of the NGO said as many as 11 candidates have submitted false claims about their criminal records to the Election Commission. "They have claimed that there are no cases pending against them whereas records in Allahabad High Court show there are criminal cases pending against them," he said. BSP and BJP each has fielded three such candidates whereas two each are from SP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
The maximum number of cases, 59, are registered against Madan Bhaiya, RLD candidate from Khekra followed by Rajpal Saini of BSP from Morina.
There are 126 of the 792 candidates in the second phase whose property is worth Rs one crore. In all, 65 per cent candidates are PAN cardholders with maximum from RLD. But then there is Sadjujaman of Congress in Muzaffarnagar, who has property worth Rs two crore, but does not have a PAN card.
Congress heads the list in average financial liability of the candidate with a figure of Rs 9.4 lakh, followed by SP of Rs 6.57 lakh and then BJP 6.45 lakh. The BSP candidates have the least financial liability of Rs 4.5 lakh.
In this depressing scenario, the bright side is that educational qualifications of the candidates have improved. BJP has fielded 68 per cent candidates who are at least graduates, Congress is second with 59 per cent followed by SP 50 per cent and BSP 45 per cent. Parties have also opted for younger candidates with the bulk being in the age group of 41 to 60 years.