At least 156 candidates contesting in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls are facing criminal cases under the Indian Penal Code. The Akhilesh Yadav-Jayant Choudhury led alliance have fielded 70 candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves, top in the list, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 51 candidates and Bahujan Samaj Party with 35. The Congress has given ticket to 32 candidates while the Aam Admi Party fielded 13 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. Interestingly, the parties fielding them have dismissed the criminal cases against their nominees as being “trivial” or “politically motivated.”
As per the affidavit filed by contesting candidates to the Election Commission, 156 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. Of them, 121 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. At least 36 candidates have declared cases related to murder or attempt to murder against themselves. Besides, 31 out of 58 constituencies are red alert constituencies which means three or more candidates have declared criminal cases against them.
“ All major parties contesting in Uttar Pradesh phase I elections have given tickets to 15 per cent to 75 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves. The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in Phase 1 of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 25 per cent candidates with criminal cases,” the Association for Democratic Reforms, on Wednesday, said in a detailed report of 615 contesting candidates in UP. The report is based on their affidavit submitted to the Election Commission or put on public domain.
For instance,Manindra Pal Singh, the BJP’s candidate in Siwalkhas, Meerut, faces 25 FIRs most of them involving charges of criminal intimidation and cheating. Interestingly, Besides BJP, all parties - RLD, AIFB, Azad Samaj Party, Bhartiya Janta Dal, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen have fielded candidates with criminal cases here. Similarly, Kheragarh seat Agra, BJP, Congress, Azad Samaj Party fielded candidates with criminal cases. Similarly, Thana Bhawan in Shamli, Loni in Ghaziabad, Meerut, Dholana in Hapur, Chhata in Mathura where all political parties have given tickets to candidates having criminal cases.
The ADR report said that analysis of the affidavits filed by the candidates contesting Uttar Pradesh assembly polls disclosed that 12 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Out of 12 candidates 1 candidate has declared cases related to rape (IPC Section-376).
“Out of the 615 candidates, 280(46%) are crorepatis. There are 104 candidates having assets five crore and more and 87 candidates have assets between Rs two croe and Rs five crore.
“The role of money power in our elections is evident from the fact that all major political parties give tickets to wealthy candidates. Among the major parties 28(97%) out of 29 candidates analysed from RLD, 55(97%) out of 57 candidates analysed from BJP, 50(89%) out of 56 candidates analysed from BSP, 23(82%) out of 28 candidates analysed from SP, 32(55%) out of 58 candidates analysed from INC and 22(42%) out of 52 candidates analysed from AAP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore,” the ADR report said.