Loksabha elections 2019

Two candidates with criminal cases for every woman so far in this election


There are more candidates with criminal cases against them than there are women contesting the elections.

A report from non-governmental organisations the National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) showed that the number of women contesting elections so far in the first two phases numbered 209. The number of candidates who have disclosed criminal cases is 464.

This means that around sixteen per cent of candidates have disclosed criminal cases in their affidavits so far. This includes 251 out of the 1,590 candidates whose disclosures were analysed for the second phase of elections. There were 213 candidates with criminal cases in the previous phase. The report looked at a total of 2,856 candidates out of a total of 2923 across the two phases. Some candidates haven’t been included because properly scanned and complete affidavits weren’t available.

The second phase features six candidates with murder cases, and 25 with attempted murder. There are also eight candidates with cases related to kidnapping. Fifteen candidates have disclosed cases of hate speech.

“Ten candidates have declared cases related to crime against women such as rape (IPC Section-376), assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC Section-354), husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty (IPC Section-498A) etc, against themselves,” it said.

In comparison, 120 candidates (eight per cent) are women. This is higher than the 89 women candidates in phase one (seven per cent of total candidates for the phase).

There have been proposals to bar those facing criminal cases from elections. Debates have also raged on the fact that people could be falsely implicated in cases to stop them from contesting.

“…several representatives of political parties expressed a fear that such a disqualification would be used as a tool for political vendetta,” noted the 20th Law Commission headed by chairman Justice A.P. Shah, in its February 2014 report on ‘Electoral Disqualifications’.

Interestingly, there are a number of candidates with assets more than a crore. The average assets per candidate is Rs.3.9 crore in the second phase, lower than the Rs.6.6 crore in the first phase.

The average assets are in excess of a crore for major political parties including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

“Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 80 BSP candidates is Rs. 1.94 crores, 53 INC candidates is Rs 31.83 crores, 51 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 21.59 crores, 24 DMK candidates have average assets worth Rs 25.91 crores, and 22 AIADMK candidates have average assets of Rs 14.27 crores,” it said.

There are also 16 candidates who have declared zero assets in the second phase. Others have declared very low assets.

Tamil Nadu’s Rajesh P and Raja N have declared assets of around one hundred rupees each. Shrivenkateswar Maha Swamiji (Katakdhond. D. G.) of Maharashtra has declared total assets of nine rupees.

Around thirteen per cent of candidates have not given their Permanent Account Number (PAN). The income tax department can use the PAN number to track transactions, income and assets of individuals. The tax department reportedly uses this also to track unaccounted for income or assets.

Women find lower representation than those with criminal cases
Election Phase

Candidates

with

Declared

Criminal

Cases

Percentage

of

Candidates

with

Declared

Criminal

Cases

Women

Candidates

Percentage

of Women

Candidates

Phase 1 213 17% 89 7%
Phase 2 251 16% 120 8%
Total 464 16% 209 7%

Source: National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)

Note: Based on 2856 candidates out of 2923 for whom affidavits were analysed.





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