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Bihar polls: 31% candidates across parties have declared criminal records

Easterntimes, New Delhi : October 22, 2020: As the Bihar elections are hotting up in the amidst of Corona pandemic and deputy chief minister Sushil Modi has tested positive for Covid 19 today, an analysis of affidavits filed by candidates in the fray, for the for the first phase of voting to the 243 seat assembly on October 28, show 31% contestants have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The report released by ADR on Tuesday analysed 1,064 out of the 1,066 candidates in phase one of the elections and found 328 had declared pending criminal cases.

Lalu Yadav’s RJD and the ruling BJP have fielded the highest number of tainted candidates for the first phase of polls. While RJD has 73% (30 out of 41) contestants with criminal records, BJP accounts for 72% (21 out of 29) its candidates so far.

The Chirag Paswan-led Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) has 59% (24 of 41) and 15 of the 21 (43%) fielded by Congress have criminal cases registered against them.

Of all the candidates’ analysed, 23% had declared serious criminal cases against themselves, including rape, murder, assault and kidnapping.

Candidates with declared cases related to crime against women are 29, including three who have declared cases related to rape, 21 have registered cases of murder and 62 candidates have cses of attempt to murder against them.

Out of the 71 constituencies going for polls on October 28, 61 (86%) are marked as those with red alert. Red alert constituencies are those where 3 or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Clearly, Supreme Court directions against giving tickets to tainted candidates with criminal records, have had little impact on the political parties across the spectrum.

The Supreme Court in its directions dated February 13, 2020, had instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

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