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In the second phase of the Lok Sabha election, a total of 250 candidates in fray have criminal cases against them, with three facing murder charges, according to an analysis of self-sworn affidavits of the contestants by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch.

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases beginning on April 19 and the counting of votes will take place on June 4 for the world’s biggest election exercise in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will bid for a third consecutive term. Voting in the other phases will be held on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

21% candidates named in criminal cases
The analysis was conducted on 1,192 out of the 1,198 candidates participating in the second phase of the election. Out of the 1,192 candidates analysed, 21 per cent or 250 candidates, are implicated in criminal cases, with 14 per cent or 167 candidates, facing serious criminal charges, as per the analysis.

According to the analysis, three candidates have murder cases filed against them, while 24 are accused in attempted murder cases. Additionally, 25 candidates are involved in cases related to crimes against women, with one facing rape charges under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Furthermore, 21 candidates are linked to cases involving hate speech.

The analysis revealed that 52 per cent of the 87 seats set to go to polls in the second phase of the seven-phase elections are categorised as ‘red alert’ constituencies. ‘Red alert’ constituencies are those where three or more candidates have declared criminal cases in their



affidavits.

Criminal cases against candidates of major parties
According to the analysis, among major parties, there are criminal cases against 31 out of the 69 candidates from the BJP, 35 out of the 68 candidates from the Congress, all five candidates from the CPI, all four candidates from the SP, two out of three candidates from the Shiv Sena, two out of four candidates from the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), and two out of five candidates from the JD(U).

In addition to revealing the criminal backgrounds of candidates, the ADR stated that the analysis also underscores wealth disparities among candidates.

33% of candidates are crorepatis
The affidavits indicate that approximately 33 per cent of candidates in the second phase of the polls are "crorepatis." The average assets per candidate amount to Rs 5.17 crores, revealing significant disparities across party lines, as observed by the ADR.

“Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 68 INC candidates is Rs 39.70 crores, 69 BJP candidates is Rs 24.68 crores, four SP candidates have average assets of Rs 17.34 crores, four Shivsena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) candidates have average assets worth Rs 12.81 crores, three Shiv Sena candidates have average assets worth Rs 7.54 crores,” the analysis said.

“Four AITC candidates have average assets worth Rs 4.16 crores, five JD(U) candidates have average assets worth Rs 3.31 crores, 18 CPI(M) candidates have average assets worth Rs 2.29 crores and five CPI candidates have average assets of Rs 78.44 lakhs,” it added.

Six candidates have declared zero assets, while 47 have not disclosed their PAN details.
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