Guwahati: Thirty candidates have criminal charges against them, including a minister and five sitting MLAs, out of the 539 contestants in 65 consituencies going to polls in the first phase in Assam tomorrow.
Altogether 25 candidates have cited serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women etc. In their affidavits submitted while filing their nominations, according to a report of the Association of Democratic Reforms based on the affidavits filed by the candidates.
Industries and Commerce Minister Siddeque Ahmed contesting to retain his Karimganj (South) seat in Barak Valley has charges of cheating related to property and criminal conspiracy under Sections 120B and 420 of IPC.
Congress legislator Rumi Nath from Borkhola along with other sitting party MLAs Debabrata Saikia, son of former Chief Minister late Hiteswar Saikia, from Nazira, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha from Karimganj (North) and Jamaluddin Ahmed from Badarpur have also mentioned cases pending against them.
Eight out of the 65 candidates from Congress, three out of 54 candidates from BJP, three out of 27 candidates from AIUDF, one out of ten candidates fielded by CPI(M), one out of six candidates from CPI(ML)(L) and 14 out of 280 candidates in fray have mentioned criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Three constituencies in Barak Valley - Karimganj (North), Sonai and Hailakandi - have been declared red alert constituencies by the Election Commission with three or more candidates having declared criminal charges against them, according to the report.
Karimganj (North) and Sonai have four candidates with criminal charges against them while Hailakandi has three candidates with cases against them, the report said.
Among serious criminal charges, two candidates have declared cases related to murder and they include former ULFA militant and BJP candidate Kushal Dowari from Thowra constituency and independent Janardan Hazarika from Amguri constituency. Both referred charges related to murder pending against them under section 302 of IPC, the report said.
Duwari, former independent MLA from Thowra, also declared a charge related to attempt to murder under section 307 of IPC.
An independent candidate Ibungobi Singha from Sonai constituency in Barak Valley has declared a charge related to assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty under section 354 of IPC.
An independent Abdul Ahad Choudhury from Karimganj (North) has declared a charge related to kidnapping for ransom under section 364A of IPC.