As many as 70 per cent of the Congress candidates in the upcoming December 7 Telangana Assembly elections are facing criminal cases, the highest among major political parties. A study by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Telangana Election Watch (TES) on scrutiny of all the candidate affidavits for this year and the previous (2014) elections found that the Congress also bears the ignominy of having 45 per cent, or 37 of its 99 contestants, facing serious criminal cases like assault, murder and kidnapping.
The report, released on Monday, also showed that IT Minister (and son of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao) KT Rama Rao's income shot up from Rs 7 crore to Rs 41 crore, an increase by 424 per cent since 2014.
The candidate with the highest declared assets in the upcoming polls is former member of parliament and present member of legislative council Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy from the Congress.
According to report, the caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has 44 (37 per cent) out of 119 candidates facing serious criminal charges and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 26 (22 per cent) of 118 candidates who are facing serious criminal cases in the upcoming polls.
In total, of the 1,777 contestants, 21 per cent face criminal cases, said the report. Of these, 192 (11 per cent) candidates have assets valued at Rs 5 crore and above, while 120 (11 per cent) have assets valued between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore, and 25 per cent or 438 candidates have assets of Rs 1 crore and above.
Given the high number of high-value asset holders, the average assets per candidate in the Telangana Assembly elections are about Rs 3.29 crore.
The ADR report says party-wise data also showed that the 86 (73 per cent) candidates from the Bharatiya Janata Party, 79 (80 per cent) of the 99 contesting candidates from the Congress and 107 (92 per cent) of the candidates from the TRS have assets worth over Rs 1 crore.