In Haryana, which is going to polls next Wednesday that will decide the fate of a total of 1,351 candidates, the number of candidates contesting with criminal charges has decreased from the previous assembly elections of 2009.
HT looked at the data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and found that major parties in Haryana - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) - have fielded around 9% of candidates with criminal charges, with 6% facing serious criminal charges, out of the total 268 candidates.
Haryana Janhit Congress and INLD have the highest number of candidates with criminal backgrounds. While 15% of the 65 candidates fielded by Haryana Janhit Congress have criminal cases filed against them, 11% of 88 INLD candidates face criminal charges.
The BJP too is not far behind with 10% out of the 90 contesting candidates facing criminal charges.
The Congress is among the top three parties with lowest number of candidates with criminal charges. It has only 4 candidates, out of 90 contesting, with criminal charges.
Nine constituencies in Haryana have three candidates each with criminal charges, with Hisar constituency being the worst with four candidates contesting with criminal charges.
The following visualisations show party-wise criminal candidate break up and the nine constituencies along with the name of the candidates with criminal charges
These assembly elections have around 94 or 7% of the 1,343 candidates facing criminal charges. Out of these 94, charges have already been framed against 49.
Incidentally, this is a reduction from the previous assembly elections in 2009 when 109 or 9% out of 1,186 candidates analysed had criminal charges against them.
Seventy of these candidates have serious criminal charges like murder, attempt to murder, crimes against women, disrupting communal disharmony, etc slapped against them. However, this share has also reduced by two percentage points from the previous assembly elections when 86 had serious criminal charges.
Despite this, Haryana is better placed than its neighbours like Rajasthan and Punjab, where the share of sitting MLAs with criminal charges is 18% and 15%.
The following visualisation gives an idea about the candidates who face serious criminal charges