In the recent state elections in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch has revealed that 18 per cent of the 8,054 candidates face criminal charges, as reported by Hindustan Times.
Shockingly, 12 per cent of them are accused of serious crimes, and 29 per cent are millionaire candidates with an average asset worth of Rs 3.36 crore.
Despite the Supreme Court's 2020 directive urging political parties to justify fielding candidates with criminal records, the ADR report suggests that these parties continue with old practices.
Telangana leads the list with the highest percentage of candidates with criminal records, ranging from 24 per cent to 72 per cent, across all major parties. This includes cases related to crimes against women, attempted murder, and murder.
In contrast, Mizoram reports the lowest figures, with only 3 per cent to 10 per cent of candidates having criminal records.
The report also reveals that 68 per cent of Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidates have criminal cases, and 43 per cent face serious criminal charges.
Telangana’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi has the second-highest proportion of candidates with criminal histories, at 48 per cent, followed by the Congress, the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party.
While 29 per cent of all candidates are crorepati, the report highlights that 65 per cent of candidates from national political parties and 52 per cent from state political parties have declared assets exceeding Rs 1 crore.
Independent candidates, in contrast, have a lower proportion of millionare individuals, standing at 14 per cent.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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