Candidates in first five phases of polls are low on education but high on crime
Of the 3,305 candidates figuring till the fifth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, half are not even graduates.
However, what these candidates are lacking on the academic front seems to be compensated when it comes to their criminal records and individual wealth.
While going through their backgrounds, Mail Today found many candidates who are illiterate or school dropouts.
Similarly, there are candidates with multiple criminal cases in the poll fray.
Anil Kumar, a candidate from the Peace Party from Baghpat, is a higher secondary passout.
Kumar, who has assets worth over Rs 5 crore, has four criminal cases against him.
Similarly, Congress’s D.K. Suresh (Bangalore Rural) faces seven criminal cases.
The Class XII passout has assets worth about Rs 85 crore. A Class X passout, BSP’s Dadan Yadav (Buxar) has 22 criminal cases.
HOW ADR DID IT: The National Election Watch (NEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 3,305 candidates out of the 3,355 candidates who have contested/ contesting in Phase 1-5 of Phase 5 of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The rest of the candidates were not analysed due to unclear or incomplete affidavits available on the ECI website at the time of making of this report.
As far as serious criminal cases are concerned, 21 Congress candidates, 36 BJP candidates, 20 AAP candidates and 22 BSP candidates face serious criminal cases
Besides assets worth about Rs 2 crore, Yadav has declared a liability of about Rs 10 crore.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) data, 557 candidates (17 per cent) out of the 3,305 candidates have declared criminal cases in their affidavits.
As many as 328 candidates (10 per cent) face serious criminal charges like murder, rape and robbery. Forty-five (23 per cent) out of 193 candidates fielded by the Congress have declared criminal cases. The BJP is ahead of the Congress in this category as 68 (34 per cent) out of 202 its candidates have criminal cases.
Among other parties, 31 (16 per cent) out of 200 fielded by the AAP and 38 (18 per cent) out of 207 BSP candidates have declared criminal cases in their affidavits.
As far as serious criminal cases are concerned, 21 Congress candidates, 36 BJP candidates, 20 AAP candidates and 22 BSP candidates face serious criminal cases.
The Congress candidates are more affluent than their other counterparts, with Nandan Nilekani (Bangalore South) topping the list at total declared assets of Rs 7,710 crore.
While a total of 921 out of 3,305 candidates are crorepatis, the Congress and the BJP occupy the top positions – 162 (84 per cent) and 149 (74 per cent), respectively.
The average assets of candidates, contesting from Phase I to V of the 2014 general elections, stand at Rs 5.83 crore.
Among the major parties, the average assets per candidate is Rs 54.38 crore (Congress), Rs 8.55 crore (BJP), Rs 3.09 crore (AAP) and Rs 4.54 crore (BSP).
Interestingly, AAP candidates are not so aam aadmi when it comes to property. Eighty-six (43 per cent) out of 200 AAP candidates are crorepatis.
In this regard, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has left behind Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party as only 66 (32 per cent) out of 207 BSP candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
V. Balakrishnan, former director of Infosys and AAP candidate for the Bangalore Central constituency, has declared his total assets at Rs 189 crore.
Popular actor and BJP’s candidate for Ahmedabad-East constituency, Paresh Rawal, is one of the richest contestants in Gujarat with a total family wealth of Rs 79.40 crore.
Despite having so much wealth, the ADR data shows about 54 per cent of the total 3,305 candidates have not declared their Income Tax details and 28 per cent of them did not furnish their PAN number in their affidavits.
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