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Crime and money visible in UP 5th phase
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | April 27, 2007 18:08 IST
Keeping in tune with the past four phases, the fifth phase of the staggered Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections on April 28 too will witnesses a large presence of contestants with criminal antecedents and huge wealth.
Of the 863 candidates in the fray for 58 assembly seats in this round, as many as 115 are facing criminal charges, while there are 61 multi-millionaires.
The nine districts -- Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, Sultanour, Fatehpur, Chitrakoot and Banda -- going to poll during this phase also have the distinction of a tall crime record.
And state capital Lucknow tops the list with 194 murders, 156 attempts to murder, 38 culpable homicides, 51 rapes, 150 kidnappings (including 136 women) and 8 dacoities, as per the 2005 report of State Crime Record Bureau.
All these nine districts recorded 756 murders, 604 attempts to murder, 275 culpable homicides, 207 rapes and 413 kidnappings, including that of 337 women, besides 24 dacoities, as per the report.
The Congress, once again, takes the cake for fielding the richest nominee, though the ruling Samajwadi Party tops the list with 18 multi-millionaires in the fray. It was followed by Congress' 14, Bharatiya Janata Party's 13 and Bahujan Samaj Party's 8, besides independents or smaller parties. However there are 12 contestants who claimed to own no assets at all.
The common myth that criminals taking refuge in politics were usually illiterates is also belied in this phase. Out of the 115 such persons, only 58 are graduates, post-graduates as well as professional-degree holders. Also bulk of them are in the age group of 41-60 years.
In the race for fielding alleged outlaws, BSP tops the list this time with as many as 26 such nominees. The ruling Samajwadi Party topped the list in three of the four earlier phases, stood a close second with 21 candidates facing criminal charges. The BJP has only 12 contestants with criminal backgrounds, while the Congress trails behind with just seven. The rest belong to either smaller political outfits or are independents.
Significantly, it was the lesser known Apna Dal -- a caste-based party of Kurmis -- whose nominee Thakur Prakash Singh was facing as many as 45 cases involving heinous crimes, says a study by Election Watch, an NGO headed by retired director general of police I C Dwivedi.
Election Watch calls for a `red alert' for seven constituencies where more than four alleged criminals are in the fray. These are Isauli, Sarojini Nagar, Bachchrawan, Chanda, Garwara, Mahona and Mallawan.
Interestingly, Raghuraj Pratap Singh, better known as Raja Bhaiya, who was widely known for his feudal muscle-power, has just four cases pending against him. However, it was his constituency, Kunda -- also his erstwhile princely state, about 140 km from here -- that has the largest number of outlaws in the fray.
The top ten multi-millionaires included Sudhir Halwasiya - Lucknow East (with assets worth Rs 41.2 crore), Shiv Prakash Misra - Kunda (Rs 20 crore), Anil Pratap Singh - Pratapgarh (Rs 9 crore), Ajay Kumar tripathi - Lucknow, Sarojini Nagar (Rs 8 crore), Arvind Tripathi 'Guddu' - Lucknow Cantt (Rs 6.9 crore), R P Singh alias Moti Singh - Patti (Rs 5.5 crore), Amita Singh - Amethi (Rs 5.3 crore), Ajay Pal Singh - Dalmau (Rs 5 crore) and Kunwar V Singh (Rs 4.8 crore).