AN analysis of records of candidates contesting in the civic elections indicated that at least 154 candidates have serious criminal cases against them. The figures were a part of a partial analysis of the criminal backgrounds, assets and other details of 1641 candidates conducted by the NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms. Following the submission of nominations earlier this month, the state election commission finalised a list of 2275 candidates for the civic elections.
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The criteria for serious criminal cases include offences that are non-bailable, attract a punishment of five years or more. Committing electoral offences as well as crimes against women also count as serious criminal cases. Among the major political parties, analysis of 1641 candidates indicated that the highest number of candidates who declared serious criminal offences were from Shiv Sena comprising 16 per cent of the candidates analysed, followed by 14 per cent for the MNS.
The report also stated that at least 216 candidates analyzed have declared criminal cases against themselves. Among the major parties, the highest number of such candidates were from MNS comprising 25 per cent of the candidates’ affidavits analysed followed by 24 per cent for the Shiv Sena and 23 per cent for the BJP. The report also analysed the financial status of candidates which indicated 30 per cent of the candidates analysed have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore while 10 candidates declared the value of their assets to be zero.
Another 102 candidates declared the value of their assets to be below Rs 1 lakh. The average of the assets per candidate analyzed for this election is Rs. 1.93 Crores. Among the top 10 candidates with the highest declared assets include three candidates from BJP including Parag Shah with assets worth Rs 689 crores, four from Shiv Sena, two from Congress and one from NCP.
An age analysis of the candidates indicated that at least 71 candidates have declared their ages to be between 21 to 24 years. Of the total candidates analysed, 74% are between 25-50 years while 22% are between 51-80 years. Four candidates fall within the 71-80 years age group.