7 millionaires, four convicts among West Bengal candidates

April 24th, 2009 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) There are seven millionaires as also 24 candidates with criminal records, four of them convicted, in West Bengal’s first phase of the Lok Sabha polls to be held April 30.
With 134 nominees in the race for 14 of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, the percentage of candidates with criminal record is 18, higher than the national average of 17, according to National Election Watch (NEW) in West Bengal.

“Almost all political parties have fielded candidates with criminal records,” NEW West Bengal convenor Shankar Roychowdhury told reporters Thursday.

The information is based on the affidavits submitted by the candidates, 44 of whom either do not have or have not furnished their PAN card details.

Seven of the candidates were worth more than Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million), while 12 has assets of over Rs.50 lakh (Rs.five million).

Fiftyfive percent of the nominees are either graduate degree holders or have higher educational qualifications, but this figure is also less than the national average of 60 percent.

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