91 candidates with criminal cases in Delhi polls: studyNovember 21st, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) As many as 91 candidates with pending criminal cases will be contesting the Delhi assembly polls this time, says a study conducted by Delhi Election Watch (DEW). “There are 91 candidates, who have pending criminal cases against them, who are contesting assembly elections this time,” Anil Bairwal of DEW said at a press conference here.
DEW is part of a nationwide campaign called National Election Watch (NEW), which is a group of NGOs across the country.
“While the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the Congress each have 19 candidates with criminal record, BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) has 15 such candidates.
“There are several candidates who have cases of serious criminal charges such as murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping against them,” Bairwal said.
Elections for Delhi assembly polls are scheduled to take place Nov 29. DEW analysed affidavits of 645 candidates out of a total of 863 candidates in the fray.
69 political parties are contesting the election this time. Of the 69 parties, 41 are contesting three or less seats and 23 are contesting only one seat.
“New Delhi has maximum number of contestants with 25, closely followed by 24 in Burari and 23 each in Kirari and Karawal Nagar. Least contestants are from Bijwasan, 5, and Ghonda, 3,” the study revealed.
There are 79 women candidates in the assembly elections. Of these, eight are of the Congress, three each of the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, two each of the BSP and the Lok Jan Shakti Party and 61 others.
Another interesting revelation of the study is that 153 candidates have declared assets of over Rs.10 million.
“Of them, 41 are of the Congress, 47 from the BJP and 32 from the BSP. But the irony is that in spite of being so rich, they have not given their PAN numbers,” Bairwal said.
“There are 21 candidates who have declared that they own no vehicle. Of those 21, there are six candidates who have declared their assets to be more than Rs.9 million,” added Bairwal, who wondered how these politicians travelled in their areas or otherwise.
As per the study, there are 12 candidates who have declared zero cash and zero deposit.
“Of these 12, one candidate has assets worth Rs.40 million and five have declared that they have zero total assets,” the study said.
During the study, DEW found that a total of 45 sitting legislators were re-contesting elections and most have shown a huge increase in their assets from 2003 to 2008.
The study reveals that of these sitting lawmakers, there are a few who have registered a growth of more than 1,000 percent in their assets in the last five years.
“We are non partisan and an independent group. These sitting MLAs have registered a huge growth in their assets as per their affidavit. Where has this money come from?” Bairwal queried.
“There should be an enquiry into such a disproportionate growth of assets. There has to be some authority that should check what is given in the affidavits,” he added.
“Of the total 645 candidates whose affidavits were analysed, 124 are graduates and 48 are post graduates, 50 have done professional courses, 120 are intermediate pass (Class 12), 29 are matric pass (Class 10), 29 are non-matriculate, 67 have studied upto class 8, 21 are illiterate and several others have not given their educational qualification,” Bairwal said.
Several candidates of the major parties have also not declared their PAN numbers even though the affidavits have an option for giving the PAN card number.
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