Tip of iceberg? 77 criminal candidates for UP polls so far
The first list put out for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections has a total of 77 candidates with a criminal background.
Topping this list are both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party who have 13 candidates each with serious criminal charges against them.
The National Election Watch in its report for Uttar Pradesh states that the first list of candidates from BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal for the assembly election contains 26, 26, 24 and 1 candidate respectively, with criminal records.
It shall be noted here that so far the BJP, Congress, SP and RLD have declared 220, 215, 165 and 17 candidates respectively for the assembly polls. That shows that 617 candidates have been named by the four major parties of the state.
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Image: File picture of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi addressing a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh
Ruling BSP is yet to announce its first list of candidates
The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, which is currently pursuing a 'cleanliness campaign' ushered by Chief Minister Mayawati and removing 'tainted ministers' (many of them who have drifted to other parities like the BJP) is yet to announce its first list of candidates for the 403-members UP assembly, the biggest in the country.
The National Election Watch has found affidavits of 248 candidates which were submitted during earlier elections (2007 assembly elections or 2009 general elections) with Election Commission.
The survey shows that 38 candidates have serious criminal cases -- like murder, attempt to murder, robbery, theft and kidnapping -- against them as declared in their earlier affidavits.
Image: Ruling BSP's CM Mayawati is currently pursuing a 'cleanliness campaign'
BJP and Congress have declared 13 candidates each with serious criminal charges
This list of candidates with serious charges includes 13 candidates from BJP, 13 from Congress and 12 candidates from SP.
NEW has been able to find the records of 91 candidates out of the total 220 declared by the BJP, out of which 26 have been found to have criminal cases against them.
Similarly, NEW has traced records of 75 out of total 215 candidates declared by the Congress, which showed 26 had criminal cases against them, including 13 with serious criminal charges.
Image: A worker of BJP installs his party's symbol on balcony of BJP's office in Lucknow
24 out of 77 candidates of SP have criminal background
Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party has named 24 candidates with criminal background out of the total 165 declared so far. However, NEW has been able to find the records of only 77 out of them.
Rashtriya Lok Dal, which recently announced its pre-poll alliance with the Congress and immediately its chief Ajit Singh was awarded with a Cabinet berth in the Union government, has only 1 candidate with criminal record out of the total 5 candidates whose records were accessible to NEW. RLD so far has announced 17 candidates in total.
However, it is to be noted here that NEW has got access to the records of only around 40 per cent of the total candidates declared so far by the four parties.
Image: Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party is not too far behind Congress and BJP in terms of criminal candidates