In terms of candidates with criminal backgrounds or pots of money, Phase IV on April 23 seems to be no different from Phase III — where 118 of the 859 candidates faced criminal charges and many had wealth beyond anyone’s dreams.
There is a “red alert” in nine constituencies as each segment has more than four candidates facing criminal cases. Similarly, 45 candidates have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, according to the UP Election Watch (UPEW) report released on Thursday.
IC Dwivedi, UPEW convenor, said that of the total 922 candidates in the fray, criminal cases are pending against 116 contestants. And while the Bahujan Samaj Party had taken the lead in fielding candidates with criminal backgrounds in the first two phases, the Samajwadi Party had taken over from them in the third and fourth phases. “It shows the level of dependence of parties on such candidates and their belief that having pending cases adds to the winnability factor,” he said.
In Phase IV, the SP has fielded 27 candidates facing criminal charges, the BJP 16, Congress 15, BSP 12 and RLD 6. The nine “red alert” zones are Naugarh, Nighasan, Balrampur, Mehndawal, Biswan, Gainsari, Domariaganj, Itwa and Shoratgarh.
Dwivedi also said that while Congress nominee from Colonelganj Ajay Pratap has emerged as the richest with declared assets worth Rs 31.86 crore, the SP has 12 crorepatis, the BSP 9, BJP 7 and Congress 6.
On the other hand, there are 14 nominees who have no assets.