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May 03, 2013 at 09:39am IST

K'taka polls: Money power, candidates with criminal records a concern

Bangalore: There are two days left for the Karnataka Assembly elections and as always money power is a concern in the state. Not just that, the state Election Watch finds that more than 20 per cent of candidates have criminal records.

Political parties may have promised to make the Karnataka 2013 Assembly polls a clean one, but a report by the Karnataka Election Watch shows that nearly 21 per cent of contesting candidates this year have criminal records.

110 candidates have serious criminal cases against them. This includes 13 candidates across various political parties, who have been charged with murder and two candidates from the Karnataka Janata Paksha, who have been charged with rape. 18 candidates also have cases registered against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

With the Congress topping the list that has 55 candidates with criminal records, the Bharatiya Janata Party has fresh ammunition in hand. "Rahul Gandhi had promised there would not be such type of candidates. So I am surprised these people are contesting," BJP spokesperson S Prakash.

The crorepati club has also fanned out this time, with an average asset increase of nearly 79 per cent. Congress leader DK Sivakumar's assets have seen the steepest rise of Rs 175 crore. But Congress candidate Priya Krishna remains the richest with total assets worth Rs 910 crore.

The report also shows that only 56 per cent candidates possess graduate or higher degrees. So will voters actually swing their votes based on the data in this report or will money power and influence once again capture political seats?