As many as 391, or 15%, of the 2,560 candidates contesting the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka have criminal cases against them, non-profit organisation the Association for Democratic Reforms said on Sunday. Of these, 254, or 10%, have serious criminal cases registered against them.
Four candidates are facing murder charges, 25 have declared that they were charged with attempt to murder, and 23 face cases related to crimes against women.
As many as 58, or 26%, of 224 Bharatiya Janata Party candidates, 32 of 220 (15%) Congress candidates, 29 of 199 candidates (15%) from the Janata Dal (Secular), one candidate out of the 27 contesting from the Aam Aadmi Party and 70 of 1,090 Independents have declared serious criminal cases such as murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping in their affidavits, the report said.
The ADR has categorised 56 constituencies, or 25%, as “Red Alert”, where three or more candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The organisation also said that 35% of the 2,560 candidates are crorepatis. Ninety-four percent of Congress candidates, 93% of BJP candidates, 77% of Janata Dal (Secular) candidates, 52% of Janata Dal (United) candidates and 33% of those from AAP have declared assets over Rs 1 crore.
While the average assets of a BJP candidate amount to Rs 17.86 crore, the figure is a staggering Rs 38 crore for a Congress candidate. The richest candidate, Congress leader Priyakrishna, who is contesting from Govindarajanagar constituency in Bengaluru, has declared assets worth over Rs 1,020 crore.
The Karnataka elections will be held on May 12 and the votes will be counted on May 15.