A total of 18 candidates (21 per cent) contesting the November 3 bypolls to seven seats in Uttar Pradesh have declared criminal cases against them, revealed an analysis by the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
These candidates belong to major political parties in Uttar Pradesh. Most of the candidates are from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Smajwadi Party. A few of them are from the Congress and some Independent candidates.
One of them has been booked under charges of rape, one for murder and others in attempt to murder cases.
The information was revealed after analysing the self-sworn affidavits of 87 out of the 88 candidates who are contesting the polls.
Of the 87 candidates, 15 (17 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against thems, the report said.
Among the major parties, five (71 per cent) out of seven candidates analysed from the BSP, five (83 per cent) out of six candidates analysed from the SP, one (17 per cent) out of six candidates analysed from the Congress and three (14 per cent) out of 22 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits.
Five (71 per cent) out of seven candidates analysed from the BSP, five (83 per cent) out of six candidates analysed from the SP and two (9 per cent) out of 22 Independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against them in their affidavits.
One candidate has declared a case related to rape against himself, one declared case related to murder and four have mentioned attempt to murder cases against their names.
Two (29%) out of seven constituencies are red alert constituencies, where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against them.
All major parties (less in BJP) contesting the by-elections have given tickets to 17 per cent to 83 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves.
This is a clear-cut violation of the Supreme Court's direction to the political parties with regard to selection of candidates as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 21 per cent candidates with criminal records.
The Supreme Court in its directions dated February 13 this year had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selections and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
As per these mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selections have to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned.
Therefore, such unfounded and baseless reasons given by the political parties like "popularity of the person, does good social work, cases are politically motivated" are not sound reasons for fielding candidates with tainted past.
The affidavit of Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party candidate Bhupendra Kumar Dhangar from Tundla (SC) constituency could not be analysed due to the unavailability of his complete and properly scanned documents on the Election Commission of India (ECI) website while preparing the report, the ADR said.
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