MOHAMMAD ALI, tHE hINDU
Almost 50 per cent of the candidates fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections have criminal cases pending against them, according to an analysis of the affidavits of 796 of the 810 candidates in the fray. Accounting for 46 per cent of its candidates, the BJP has the highest — 31 out of 68 — candidates with a criminal background.
Compared with the last elections in 2008, the BJP has seen a substantial increase in candidates with criminal cases being fielded for the upcoming Delhi elections. Thirty-five per cent of its candidates had criminal cases in the 2008 Assembly elections. This has risen to 46 per cent in 2013, as per the analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Delhi Election Watch (DEW).
The independent bodies working on electoral reforms have used the opportunity to advocate more electoral reforms and decriminalisation of politics.
On Tuesday, the ADR and the NEW released the study which highlighted that as many as 129 of the 796 candidates (16 per cent) contesting the elections have declared criminal cases pending against them. Of these, 93 candidates have serious criminal cases against them, which include murder, dacoity and crimes against women.
Fifteen of the 70 (21 per cent) candidates fielded by the Congress have self-declared criminal cases against them. The party’s share of tainted candidates has come down. In the 2008 Assembly elections