Nearly a fifth or 19% of the close to 8000 candidates contesting the 2019 general elections have declared pending criminal cases against them while 29% have assets worth Rs 1 crore or more, according to a report by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) released on Monday. The report is based on analysis of affidavits filed by the candidates with the Election Commission of India.
These figures have increased for the second consecutive general election, which is to say that there has been an increase from 2009 to 2014, and subsequently, from 2014 to 2019. The share of candidates with criminal cases increased by four percentage points between 2009 and 2019 elections, from 15% to 19%, while the share of crorepati candidates increased by 13 percentage points, from 16% to 29%.
To be sure, not all candidates have criminal cases of serious nature against them. Out of 1500 candidates with declared criminal cases, 1070 (13% of all candidates) have criminal cases of serious nature against them. This includes cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, rape and other crimes against women. Among the candidates with criminal cases, the share of those with serious criminal cases has also increased over time.…
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