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In Delhi, Cong and BJP level on criminal candidates

November 21, 2008 17:16 IST

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Nineteen candidates each fielded by the BJP and Congress for the upcoming Delhi [Images] assembly polls have criminal cases pending against them, including serious offences like murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping.

Over 90 candidates out of the total 875 contesting the elections have criminal cases filed against them, with three candidates, including one from the BJP, facing murder charges.

The facts were brought to light by the Delhi Election Watch, an independent body comprising five organisations, including the Association for Democratic Reforms, Satark Nagrik Sangathan, NCPRI, Transparency International.

The three persons facing murder charges are Amit Kumar of LJP from Nerela constituency, Suresh Chand of BJP from Ambedkar Nagar segment and Hazi Afzal of BSP from Seelampur.

Afzal also bears the dubious distinction of being the candidate with the most number of cases against him -- 20, according to a report brought out by the organisation which studied 645 of the total 875 affidavits.

Besides, 20 other candidates are facing charges of committing serious offences, including attempt to murder, kidnapping and extortion.

The report also revealed a huge increase in the assets of sitting MLAs since the 2003 election.

"DEW has found a total of 45 sitting MLAs contesting this time. Most have shown a huge increase in their assets from 2003 to 2008, with the average increase per MLA being 211 per cent or almost 1.8 crore," it said.

A lot of discrepancies have also been cited in the declaration of assets of some candidates.

"However, there is no machinery at the dispensation of the Election Commission to check the veracity of declarations and to seek a response as to what has brought the marked rise in assets of some sitting MLAs," said S D Sharma, working chairman of Lok Sewa Sangh, a component of DEW.

The figures compiled by the organisation also revealed that there are 153 candidates who have declared assets of over Rs 1 crore -- of these 41 are from the Congress, 47 from the BJP and 32 from BSP.

"Inspite of them being crorepatis, several of them have not given their PAN number," it said, adding BSP and BJP have eight such candidates, Congress has seven while others make up for 16 such candidates.

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