‘Over 10 percent candidates in Haryana have criminal background’

May 1st, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Chandigarh, May 1 (IANS) One out of every 10 candidates contesting Lok Sabha polls from Haryana has a criminal background, the National Election Watch (NEW) said here Friday.
“In Haryana, out of the 205 candidates, 21 have a criminal background, with one or more criminal cases registered against them. This is nearly 10.2 percent of the total candidates,” Jaskirat Singh, coordinator (north zone) of NEW, told reporters.

NEW is a nationwide campaign with participation of over 1,500 NGOs and other organisations. So far, it has analysed affidavits of 6,440 candidates contesting Lok Sabha polls, to analyse their background.

The 21 candidates include three from Indian National Lok Dal, two each from the Congress and Haryana Janhit Congress, and one each from the Nationalist Congress Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, Lok Janshakti Party and Bharatiya Bahujan Party besides 10 independents.

“Our initiative is to educate masses. We have also released the details of assets of the candidates and anyone can browse this information by clicking on website, myneta.info,” Singh said.

“There are 61 candidates with assets over Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million). One finding is that 61 percent candidates do not have a permanent account number (PAN) or they have not furnished it,” he said.

In Haryana, which has one of the worst gender ratios among all states, there are only 14 female candidates, forming only 6.8 percent of the total.

NEW national coordinator Anil Bairwal said: “During the 2004 elections, we worked actively for only 20 days but despite our best efforts out of the total 543 elected candidates, 128 had one or the other criminal case registered against them. This time we are hoping to keep this number below 100.”

About the expenditure incurred for the campaign, he said: “Earlier we were spending Rs.200,000 to Rs.300,000 annually. However, now we are spending Rs.25 lakh annually, as with our expanded horizon more number of people and organisations have associated with us.”

Bairwal said many NRIs are also supporting this campaign. “Moreover, the response of the Election Commission is also quite encouraging as they are providing every sort of help to us,” he said.

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