New Delhi, November 28: Around 18 per cent of the candidates contesting the Assembly polls in five states have declared criminal cases against them, while 29 per cent are "crorepatis", according to a report released on Tuesday. Think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) examined the self-sworn affidavits of 8,051 of the 8,054 candidates in the poll fray in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana. Of the 8,051 candidates analysed, 2,117 are from national parties, 537 from state parties, 2,051 from registered unrecognised parties and 3,346 are contesting the polls independently.

According to the report, 1,452 candidates have criminal cases against them, while 959 (12 per cent) have serious criminal cases against them. Twenty-two candidates have declared cases related to murder against themselves, 82 have declared cases related to attempt to murder and 107 have declared cases related to crime against women. "The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in the five state Assembly elections in 2023 as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to candidates with criminal cases. All major parties contesting in the five state Assembly elections have given tickets to candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves," the report said. ADR Report on Wealth of Political Parties: BJP, Congress MLAs Have Assets Worth Rs 16,234 Crore and Rs 15,798 Crore Respectively

The apex court had, in its directions dated February 13, 2020, instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and asked why individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as poll candidates. It was observed that political parties gave statements like "popularity of the person", "does good social work", "cases are politically motivated" etc. as reasons for fielding candidates with a criminal record. Richest Chief Minister in India 2023 List: Who Is the Richest CM? Which CM Has the Lowest Total Assets According to ADR Survey Report? Check All The Names

"These are not sound and cogent reasons for fielding candidates with tainted backgrounds. This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers," the report said. It said 2,371 (29 per cent) candidates are "crorepatis", which means they have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. The average worth of assets of such candidates is Rs 3.36 crore.

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