New Delhi: At least 108 candidates with criminal record are contesting the first phase of Jharkhand assembly elections scheduled for November 25, an analysis of the affidavits revealed on Monday. These candidates are from all major political parties.
The analysis done by voluntary organisation National Election Watch and its partner organisations, said the criminal cases include serious charges like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and extortion.
"Though there are 470 candidates in the fray in the first phase, we managed to study only 302 of them. Of these, 108 have criminal cases pending against them," Anil Bairwal, national coordinator of National Election Watch, told IANS.
The study found that, among others, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has 19 candidates with criminal record. JMM has fielded 25 candidates for the first phase. While Congress has 11 candidates with such record, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 9 such candidates.
The five-phase assembly poll for the total 81 seats begins on Wednesday.
In the first phase, there are 470 candidates contesting in 26 assembly constituencies. The candidates include four former ministers, six former Lok Sabha MPs and the outgoing assembly's speaker Alamgir Alam.
The study also said that of the 302 candidates they scrutinised, 27 candidates have declared that their assets are more than Rs 1 crore. The organisation said a total of 168 candidates have not declared their PAN card details in their affidavits.
Only 19 women candidates are contesting during the first phase.