New Delhi: Nearly 35 percent of the major candidates in the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh polls scheduled Feb 19 have criminal background, a report from a thinktank said.
According to a report by Association for Democratic Research (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), out of 297 candidates analyzed for the fourth phase, 103 declared criminal cases pending against them.
Of these, 27 percent declared serious criminal charges like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion etc.
Among the major parties, every party has given tickets to candidates who have declared criminal cases. Samajwadi Party has 29 (54 percent), Congress has 25 (45 percent), Bahujan Samaj Party has 18 (32 percent), BJP has 11 (20 percet), Peace Party has 7 (32 percent) and Apna Dal has 5 (29 percent).
The highest number of criminal cases are against Ravidas Mehrotra of SP. Contesting from Lucknow Central constituency, Mehrotra has declared 17 criminal cases, including seven serious ones like attempt to murder.
Pushpendra Singh of BSP contesting from Rae Bareli constituency has declared nine criminal cases and four serious ones including attempt to murder.
Congress is not behind, with its candidate from Lucknow Ramesh Srivastava, who has declared seven criminal cases against him including charge of attempt to murder. Similarly, BJP`s Sareni candidate Dherendra Bahadur Singh has declared eight criminal cases.
With regard to billionaires, of 139 candidates out of 297 analyzed for the 4th phase, 47 percent are billionaires. In 2007, there were 22 percent billionaire candidates.
The candidate with maximum assets in the 4th phase is Shyam Charan Gupta of SP from Manikpur constituency with assets worth Rs 40.45 crore, followed by Shiv Prakash Mishra Senani of BSP from Kunda with Rs 30.05 crore and Sindhuja Mishra Senani of BSP from Vishwanath Ganj constituency with assets worth Rs 30.05 crores.