New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) At least 128 of the 360 candidates for the sixth round of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls Feb 28 have criminal background, a report from a think tank said Saturday. A total of 210 candidates are billionaires.
This is 36 percent of the total and is much higher than 27 percent of candidates having criminal background in the last assembly polls, said an analysis by think tank Association for Democratic Research (ADR) and its wing National Election Watch (NEW).
About 46 percent of the candidates of the Samajwadi Party (SP) have pending criminal cases, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 45 percent, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 29 percent and the Congress 47 percent.
Out of the 128 candidates with declared criminal cases, 52 are facing trials in cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery and extortion. The SP has 15, the BJP has eight, the BSP has seven and the Congress has five such candidates.
Man Veer Singh of the Janata Dal-United, contesting from Jewar constituency, has declared the maximum number of 31 criminal cases. Of these, 14 are related to murder.
The number of billionaires in the fray has also grown this time over the 2007 election. A total of 210 candidates, about 58 percent of the total, are billionaires. Just 22 percent candidates were billionaires in 2007.
Najir Ahmed of the Congress from Agra South constituency is the richest with assets worth Rs.141.39 crore, followed by Vinod Kumar of the BSP from Debai constituency with Rs.45.19 crore and Mahesh Kumar Sharma of the BJP from Noida constituency with assets worth Rs.37.45 crore.