Over 60 per cent of the assembly constituencies going to polls during the fifth phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh have three or more candidates with criminal cases in fray, according to a report. Also, 185 (or 27 per cent) of the 685 candidates in fray have declared criminal cases against themselves, while 141 (or 21 per cent) have admitted “serious criminal cases”, noted the report by the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms.
Elections in the fifth phase are scheduled across 60 assembly seats of the 11 districts of Amethi, Ayodhya, Bahraich, Barabanki, Chitrakoot, Gonda, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Shrawasti and Sultanpur. One seat which falls in Rae Bareli district, where voting took place on February 23, also goes to polls in this phase. The UP Election Watch and the ADR said the report is based on the analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of 685 of the 693 candidates, who are contesting the polls.
The affidavits of eight candidates could not be analysed as they were either badly scanned or incomplete, the polls reforms advocacy groups said. The report noted that 39 (or 64 per cent) of the 61 seats where the elections are to be held are "Red Alert Constituencies". Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, it stated.
In terms of contestants, the report noted that out of 685 candidates analysed, 185 (or 27 per cent) have declared "criminal cases" against themselves while 141 (or 21 per cent) have declared “serious criminal cases”. There are 12 candidates who have declared cases related to crime against women and of them one contestant has declared case related to rape (IPC Section-376), according to the report. Eight candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves, while 31 are accused of attempt to murder (IPC Section-307), it noted.
In terms of financial condition, 246 (or 36 per cent) candidates are “crorepati”, having assets worth over Rs 1 crore, according to the report. There are 84 candidates who have assets worth Rs 5 crore or above, 90 with assets between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore, while 150 whose assets lay between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 2 crore, it stated. The richest three contestants in the fray during the fifth phase are all BJP candidates, with Mayankeshwar Sharan Singh (Tiloi) having assets worth over Rs 58 crore. He is followed by Sindhuja Mishra Senani (Kunda) and Sanjay Singh (Amethi) with assets worth over Rs 52 crore and Rs 50 crore, respectively, according to the report.
Hira Mani, independent candidate from Pratapur in Prayagraj, has the lowest assets of just Rs 8,000 followed by LJP's Haider Abbas from Meja in Prayagraj who has declared assets worth Rs 8,900. Independent candidate Santosh Kumar from Kursi in Barabanki has declared assets worth Rs 11,100 on his affidavit, according to the report.