Gujarat bypolls: 18% candidates face criminal cases, BTP and BJP lead, says ADR report

Bypolls in Abdasa, Limbdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada, Karjan, Dang, and Kaprada Assembly seats in Gujarat will be held on 3 November whereas, counting of votes will take place on 10 November

Press Trust of India October 30, 2020 17:40:42 IST
Gujarat bypolls: 18% candidates face criminal cases, BTP and BJP lead, says ADR report

Representational image. Reuters

New Delhi: Out of the 80 candidates in the fray for the 3 November Gujarat Assembly by-election, 18 percent have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The report, which also gives details of the financial background of candidates, said a total of 20 or 25 percent of them have declared financial assets worth crores of rupees.

While a total of 81 candidates are contesting the elections, the report is based on an analysis of affidavits furnished by 80 of them. Seven or 9 percent of the candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, while 14 or 18 percent have declared criminal cases against themselves, the ADR report said.

Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences with over five years of imprisonment. According to the report, one (50 percent) out of two candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party, three (38 percent) out of eight candidates analysed from BJP, two (25 percent) out of eight candidates analysed from Congress, and eight (15 percent) out of 53 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

One (50 percent) out of two candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party, two (25 percent) out of eight candidates analysed from BJP, and four (8 percent) out of 53 Independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, the report said. Two (25 percent) out of eight constituencies are red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

"The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in the selection of candidates as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 18 percent candidates with criminal cases," the report said. "All major parties contesting in Gujarat bye-elections have given tickets to 25 percent to 38 percent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves," it said.

The Supreme Court had in February asked political parties to give reasons for selecting candidates with a criminal background and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected. The details of the financial background of the candidates were also given in the report.

"Out of the 80 candidates, 20 (25 percent) are crorepatis. Eight (100 percent) out of 8 candidates analysed from BJP, 6 (75 percent) out of 8 candidates analysed from Congress, and 6 (11 percent) out of 53 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore," the report stated. The average assets per candidate is Rs 1.16 crore, it said.

"Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for eight Congress candidates analysed is Rs 4.38 crore, eight BJP candidates analysed is Rs 2.52 crores, two Bhartiya Tribal Party candidates have average assets of Rs 17.85 lakhs and 53 Independent candidates have average assets of Rs 70.52 lakhs," it added.

Bypolls in Abdasa, Limbdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada, Karjan, Dang, and Kaprada Assembly seats in Gujarat were necessitated after the sitting Congress MLAs resigned.

The counting of votes will take place on November 10. .

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