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28 percent of Bihar's candidates face criminal charges
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | November 10, 2005 20:36 IST
Last Updated: November 11, 2005 10:51 IST
About 28 per cent of total candidates contesting assembly polls in Bihar are facing criminal charges that include murder, extortion, kidnapping and robbery, a latest study says.
"The collective data or figure of different political parties revealed that 446 of 1607 candidates in the fray for four phase polls of 243 assembly constituencies, which come to 28 per cent of total number, are facing criminal cases," T Shastry, chairman of a non-governmental organisation called Association for Democratic Reforms, said.
ADR, along with Bihar-based Lok Sambad, which conducted a study under the banner of the Bihar Election Watch about the backgrounds of candidates of political parties contesting polls on the basis of affidavits, said that the figure and percentage of candidates facing criminal charges may surprise people but it is a hard fact about Bihar polls
'The data was an outcome of affidavits of the candidates in the fray for the polls," said Vibhu P Mahapatra, coordinator of ADR.
According to the study of ADR and Lok Sambad that compiled the data as per the affidavits filed by candidates to the Election Commission at the time of filing of nomination papers, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which leads the National Democratic Alliance, has fielded 49 candidates with criminal cases pending against them.
BJP's alliance partner Janata Dal (United) has fielded 52 candidates with criminal cases pending against them.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has fielded 69 such candidates and Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party has fielded 74 candidates with criminal cases against them.
The ultra left party the CPI (ML) has fielded 28 candidates with criminal cases. The Congress has fielded 16, Bahujan Samaj Party 33, Samajwadi party 40, CPI 10 candidates facing criminal charges.
Mahapatra said that percentage-wise the BJP has 49 percent as 49 of its total 99 candidates contesting polls facing criminal charges. The JD (U) has 39 percent, the RJD 42 percent, LJP 37 percent and CPI (ML) 41 percent.
Shastry, who is also a faculty member of IIM Bangalore, said that around 150 candidates in the fray for third and fourth phase polls on November 13 and 19 ,are facing either murder or attempt to murder charges under Section 302 and 307 of the Indian Panel Code against them.
In the last assembly battle in February, of the 1,528 candidates fielded by main political parties, 454 had criminal cases pending in courts. And of the 243 winners, 102 were accused in some criminal case or the other.