New Delhi: Over 1,100 candidates fighting Lok Sabha elections have criminal cases registered against them with Congress and BJP topping the list of such nominees, a report claimed on Monday.
Out of a total 7,450 candidates whose affidavits were studied, 1,140 have criminal cases against them, the report prepared by Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch said, adding this accounts for 15.1 per cent of the total contestants.
The Congress party has topped the list with 114 such candidates closely followed by BJP (113) and BSP (105). The Samajwadi Party has 55 candidates with criminal records while CPI(M) has 20 and CPI seven.
According to the study, 499 candidates are charged with heinous crime and Congress and BSP are on the top in this list with 43 candidates each followed by BJP (41) and SP(33).
There are 188 "red-alert" constituencies in the country having three or more candidates with criminal records, it said, adding Uttar Pradesh has topped the list with 40 such seats followed by Bihar (33).
Revealing the financial standing of the contesting candidates, the analysis shows there are 1,205 crorepatis (billionaires) belonging to the four main political parties.
The number of crorepati candidates have also increased substantially to 16.3 per cent this time compared to nine per cent in the last elections.
The ruling Congress leads the crorepati-list with 261 such candidates followed by BJP (177), BSP (147) and SP (63).
Ironically, the study revealed that more than 60 per cent of the candidates failed to furnish their PAN card details.
"The affidavit filed by the candidates shows their assets but does not reveal sources of the increased income," Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of the conglomeration of NGOs involved in the research, claimed.
The 2009 General Election, according to the study, has registered a growth of 48.5 per cent in terms of the number of candidates contesting the election compared to the 2004 polls.
The Lok Sabha elections this time has also witnessed an increase in the number of parties in the fray which has grown from 214 in last election to 369 in the present one.