Of the candidates contesting the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, 340 (21%) have declared they are facing criminal cases of which 230 (14%) face serious criminal charges, as per an analysis of candidates’ affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms. The figures come from the affidavits of 1,594 of the 1,612 candidates contesting in phase three as the affidavits of 18 candidates were illegible or incomplete.
As many as 392 (25%) of 1,594 candidates whose affidavits were studied have declared assets worth Rs 1 crore or more. Among the major parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and Samajwadi Party have the highest proportion (90% from SP, 84% from BJP and 82% from Congress) of “crorepati” candidates.
Nearly 43% of all candidates have declared they have a graduate degree or above, while 3.6% have declared they are just literate and 1.4% are illiterate.
More than a third of candidates are aged between 25 and 40 years, while nearly half are between 41 and 60 years.
The third phase of polling began on April 23. Affidavits of 18 candidates were not analysed as they were not properly scanned or were incomplete.
Of the 230 candidates facing serious criminal charges, 14 have declared they have been convicted in the past. Persons convicted are debarred from contesting elections for six years from the date of conviction, but only if they have been sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more.
Among Congress’s candidates, 27% (24 of 90) face serious criminal charges. As many as 27% (26 of 97) of BJP candidates face serious criminal charges, 10% (9 of 92) of Bahujan Samaj Party, 27% (6 of 22) of the Shiv Sena, 32% (6 of 19) of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), 50% (5 of 10) of Nationalist Congress Party, 40% (4 of 10) of Samajwadi Party and 44% (4 of 9) candidates from All India Trinamool Congress face serious criminal charges.
Thirteen candidates have declared they are facing cases related to murder, 30 have declared cases related to attempt to murder, 14 related to kidnapping, 29 related to crime against women and 26 related to hate speech, the Association for Democratic Reforms analysis shows.
Among the major parties, 44% (40 of 90) Congress candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. As many as 39% (38 of 97) candidates from BJP and 17% (16 of 92) candidates from BSP have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The highest proportion of candidates facing criminal charges are from Nationalist Congress Party: 60% (6 of 10) face criminal charges.
Assets of Rs 1 crore or above
25% candidates have declared assets worth Rs 1 crore or more. Among the major parties, 74 (82%) out of 90 candidates from the Congress, 81 (84%) out of 97 candidates from BJP, 12 (13%) candidates from BSP, 9 (90%) out of 10 candidates from SP, 10 (53%) out of 19 candidates from CPI(M), 9 (41%) out of 22 candidates from Shiv Sena and 7 (70%) out of 10 candidates from NCP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The top three states with the highest number of crorepati candidates are Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka: 75 candidates from Gujarat, 71 from Maharashtra and 46 from Karnataka have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
Candidates who are crorepatis
The three richest candidates in terms of assets are Devendra Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party from Etah constituency of Uttar Pradesh with total assets worth more than Rs 204 crore, Udayanraje Bhosale of Nationalist Congress Party from the Satara constituency of Maharashtra whose total assets are worth more than Rs 199 crore, and Praveen Singh Aron from the Bareilly constituency of Uttar Pradesh who has total assets worth more than Rs 147 crore.
The top three candidates with the highest declared income during the past financial year are from Odisha and Maharashtra. Pinaki Misra from Biju Janata Dal, contesting from Puri in Odisha declared an income of more than Rs 24 crore. Misra has mentioned advocate as profession and source of income.
Supriya Sadanand Sule of Nationalist Congress Party from Baramati in Maharashtra has declared income of more than Rs 1 crore. She has declared business as her source of income. Hindurao Naik Nimbalkar of BJP from Madha, Maharashtra has income of more than Rs 3 crore and business and agriculture as its source.
There are 11 candidates who have declared no assets. The candidate who has declared the least assets (excluding the zero assets candidates) is Sreejith PR, an independent candidate from the Wayanad constituency of Kerala, who has declared a bank balance of Rs 120.
Johnson Vasant Kolhapure, an independent candidate from the Pune constituency of Maharashtra, has declared Rs 207.
Of 1,594 candidates, 788 (49%) have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th standard while 681 (43%) candidates have a graduate degree or above. As many as 57 (3.6%) candidates have declared they are just literate and 23 (1.4%) are illiterate.
More than a third (35%), or 562 of 1,594 candidates, are in the 25-40 years age group while nearly half (48%), or 760 candidates, are in the 41-60 years age group as per the affidavits analysed by Association for Democratic Reforms.
As many as 265 (17%) candidates have declared their age in the group 61-80 years while three candidates are aged above 80 years. Four candidates have not given their age.
Of the 1,594 candidates, 143 (9%) female candidates, one candidate from the third gender and 1,450 (91%) male candidates are contesting the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
This article first appeared on IndiaSpend, a data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit.