Notwithstanding its slogans of being a representative of the poor and tough on crime, Mayawati’s BSP has the most candidates – almost 90 per cent – in the first phase of elections with assets worth more than Rs 1 crore and also the most of who are facing “serious” criminal cases. This is according to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) of the affidavits filed by the candidates to the 73 seats going for polls on February 11.
While BSP leads in number of candidates facing cases for “serious” offences, BJP has the largest number of candidates with criminal cases. As many as 29 candidates of BJP’s 73 are facing criminal cases, followed by BSP’s 28, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s 19 (57 phase-1 candidates), SP’s 15 (51 phase-1 candidates) and Congress’s 6 (24 phase-1 candidates).
The ADR’s report analysed the criminal, financial and educational backgrounds of 836 candidates in the fray and found that as many as 168, or 20 per cent overall, are facing criminal cases. As many as 143, or 17 per cent, of these are facing “serious” criminal cases like those related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women.
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In terms of “serious” criminal cases in the first phase, BSP has fielded 26 such candidates, BJP 22, RLD 15 and SP 13.
“In 2012, there were 32 per cent candidates with criminal cases against them. This time that number has decreased. But this is only in the first phase. This number may go up or come down as we will analyse the candidates of remaining phases. Still, this is an encouraging figure,” said Major General(Retd) Anil Verma of ADR and Sanjay Singh of UP Election Watch, who released the report.
Awadhpal Singh Yadav, BSP candidate from Aliganj seat of Etah district, has the maximum number of criminal cases against him. He has declared 36 criminal cases pending against him, including murder, robbery and rape. Yadav was a minister in previous Mayawati government and he had to resign from his post in 2011 after he was indicted by Lokayukta for “misusing his official position to grab land and provide benefits to his family members”. The BSP had suspended him from the party in 2011 and he was later expelled. He made quiet re-entry into the BSP on January 16. BSP had earlier announced the name of Ram Kishor Yadav from the seat in its list of candidates.
“I have political rivalry with SP’s candidate who is fighting the election against me. This has been a record in my district that cases are filed against political opponents. Most of these cases were lodged against me at the behest of SP MLA during the SP government,” said Yadav. He is pitted against SP MLA Rameshwar Yadav who himself has four cases, including murder and robbery.
Their constituency, Aliganj, tops the list of 26 constituencies highlighted as “red alert constituencies” by the ADR in its report for having three or more candidates with criminal cases in the fray. There are six candidates with criminal cases, who are contesting from Aliganj.
In the first phase, there are as many as 302 candidates, or 36 per cent, with assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. BSP has 66 such candidates, BJP has 61, SP has 40, Congress has 18 and RLD has 41.
The average worth of assets for each of 836 candidate is Rs 2.81 crore. The average of assets of the 24 Congress candidates is Rs 13.18 crore. For BJP, the average asset for a candidate is Rs 7.40 crore, followed by Rs 6.77 crore for BSP nominees, Rs 5.15 crore for RLD candidates, and Rs 5.98 crore for SP candidates. In the list of ten richest candidates, the BSP, BJP, SP and RLD have two candidates each, while the Congress has one and one is an Independent nominee. The list is topped by Congress’s Nazir Ahmed from Agra South seat, who has assets worth over Rs 211 crore. He is followed by BJP’s candidate from Mant, Satish Kumar Sharma, with total assets worth Rs 114 crore, and BJP candidate from Bah, Rani Pakshalika Singh, who has assets worth Rs 58 crore.
Although none of the candidates of five mainstream parties are in the list of 10 candidates with lowest assets, SP’s 12 out of 51 candidates, followed by Congress’s five, RLD’s 11 and six each from the BJP and BSP have not mentioned their Income Tax Return (ITR) details.