Patna: Twenty-one out of the 80 candidates contesting in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election in Bihar have criminal cases against them. It comes to about 26% of the contestants in the April 10 election, according to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Bihar Election Watch (BEW) citing their affidavits submitted to the Election Commission of India. Out of the 21, twelve have serious criminal charges against them, including cases related to attempt to murder, crime against women and theft.
According to the affidavits cited by the two agencies, Pradeep Kumar Joshi of Rashtra Sewa Dal from Karakat has the maximum 17 cases followed by Kaushal Yadav of JD(U) from Nawada (12) and Raja Ram Singh of CPI(ML) L from Karakat constituency with three serious charges.
As per their affidavits, three (75%) out of four BJP candidates, three (50%) out of 6 JD(U) candidates and two (33%) out of 6 from AAP have serious criminal cases against them.
ADR finds four candidates having cases related to attempt to murder. They are Joshi from Karakat, Kaushal from Nawada, Raja Ram from Karakat and Niranjan Kumar of CPI (ML) L from Gaya constituency.
Candidates with cases related to crimes against women are former IAS officer K P Ramaiah of JD (U) from Sasaram constituency. He has submitted that a case related to assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty (Section 354 IPC) was filed against him. Joshi from Karakat has declared that a case relating to causing miscarriage without the woman’s consent was pending against him, said BEW spokesman Rajiv Kumar.
Red alert constituencies: Karakat, Nawada and Aurangabad have at least three candidates from political parties who have declared criminal cases against them. Red alert constituencies are those which have three or more candidates with criminal cases. This excludes independent candidates with criminal cases.
Crorepati candidates: Out of the 80 candidates contesting in the first phase, 25 (31%) are crorepatis. The two from Congress and all four from BJP and RJD have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. Two (33%) out of six candidates from AAP and four (67%) out of six from JD (U) are crorepatis.
The average assets per candidate contesting in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Bihar (Phase 1) is Rs 2.56 crore. Among major parties, the average assets for two Congress candidates are Rs 34.10 crores, four BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 5.59 crores while the average assets of six AAP candidates are Rs 70.21 lakhs. The average assets of six JD (U) candidates are Rs 4.29 crore while the average assets of six BSP candidates are Rs 29.23 lakhs.
Eight candidates have assets worth more than Rs 5 crore.
Top three rich candidates
1. Upendra Ravidas, Jamui (JMM) Rs 42 crore
2. Meira Kumar, Sasaram (Cong) Rs 38 crore
3. Nikhil Kumar, Aurangabad (Cong) Rs 29 crore
Candidates with low assets
1. Imran Ali, Karakat (Independent) Rs 7,000
2. Mohd Dilbas Ansari, Karakat (Ind) Rs 70,000
3. Manoj K Singh, Jamui (Ind) Rs 1 lakh