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Lok Sabha elections 2024: 16% of phase 1 contenders accused in criminal cases; check details

Among the candidates with criminal cases, 161 have serious charges against them. Shockingly, seven candidates are facing charges related to murder, while 18 are entangled in cases concerning crimes against women, including rape.

Lok Sabha elections 2024: 16% of phase 1 contenders accused in criminal cases; check details AJR
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First Published Apr 8, 2024, 5:14 PM IST

As the Lok Sabha elections approach, a recent report by the National Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has brought concerning statistics to light. According to the analysis of self-sworn affidavits of 1,618 candidates contesting in Phase 1, 16% of them, a total of 252, have criminal cases pending against them.

The phase 1 of the Lok Sabha polls is scheduled to begin on April 19 across 102 Lok Sabha constituencies in 21 states and Union territories. The elections will be conducted in seven phases and the counting of votes on June 4.

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Among the candidates with criminal cases, 161 have serious charges against them. Shockingly, seven candidates are facing charges related to murder, while 18 are entangled in cases concerning crimes against women, including rape. Additionally, 35 candidates have been implicated in cases related to hate speech.

A breakdown of the data reveals that 36% of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates and 34% of Congress candidates have criminal charges against them. Meanwhile, all four Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidates are facing legal issues. Other parties like Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party (SP), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also have significant percentages of candidates with criminal backgrounds.

Notably, a red alert has been issued for 41% of the constituencies, indicating a high concentration of candidates with criminal records.

The ADR report also highlighted the financial aspects of the candidates. Out of the analysed contenders, 28% have assets exceeding Rs 1 crore. The BJP and Congress have fielded a huge number of crorepati candidates, with 90% and 88%, respectively, falling into this category.

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Despite Supreme Court directives, the report suggests that political parties have continued the practice of nominating candidates with criminal backgrounds. This highlights an ongoing challenge in the Indian electoral landscape.

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