The percentage of criminal candidates contesting the Gujarat elections was 23 per cent in 2007.
This year, 19 per cent of the candidates contesting the second phase of the elections have a criminal background.
Of the 78 candidates with a criminal record, the Congress has fielded 28 such candidates and the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded 26, according to an analysis undertaken by the National Election Watch and the Gujarat Election Watch.
Almost every political party has given tickets to candidates with criminal backgrounds. The Congress has 28 such candidates out of a total of out of 87 (33%), BJP has 26 out of 93 (28%), Bahujan Samaj Party has four out of 73 (6%), Janata Dal - United has two out of 30 (7%), Samajwadi Party has two out of 37 (5%), Nationalist Congress Party has three out of six (50%) and Gujarat Parivartan Party has 13 out of 74 (18%) candidates with declared criminal cases.
Of the 78 candidates with declared criminal cases, 40 are facing serious charges like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and rape etc. GPP has five such candidates, Congress has 13, BJP has 15, SP has two, NCP has two and BSP has three such candidates.
Charges have already been framed against 58 candidates in cases of kidnapping, murder, dacoity and rape.
Many candidates from major political parties are facing serious criminal charges.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Anil Chandra Shah from Naranpura constituency is facing two charges related to murder and two charges related to kidnapping.
Congress leader Takatsinh Ravsinh Solanki from Shehra constituency is facing two charges related to murder
Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Vikramsinh Prabhatsinh Rathod from Kalol constituency is facing one charge of attempt to murder and one charge related to voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means.
BJP candidate Jethabhai G Ahir from Shehra constituency and Prafulchandra Punjabhai Vankar of BSP from Shehra constituency are facing charges of rape.
Congress leader Natvarlal Pitambardas Patel has declared that he has cases registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A total of 131 (33%) candidates out of the 402 who were analysed hold graduate or higher educational degrees in the second phase of the Gujarat assembly elections.