Mumbai: A study of the affidavits of 2,336 of the 4,119 candidates for the Maharashtra Assembly elections has revealed that as many as 798 of them are facing criminal cases with Shiv Sena topping the list of such nominees, followed by erstwhile ally BJP.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which studied the affidavits, found that 169 (61 per cent) of the 278 Sena candidates analysed have criminal cases registered against them whereas BJP has 138 (53 pc) such contenders out of its 258 nominees who were examined, said the NGO's head Major General (retd) Anil Verma.
Of the 1,318 candidates fielded by the five major parties -- Congress, BJP, MNS, Shiv Sena and NCP -- 640 (49 pc) have declared criminal cases pending against them, he said.
For the last Assembly polls, in 2009, of the 698 candidates in the fray from these five parties, 352 (50 pc) had criminal cases pending against them.
For the upcoming Oct. 15 elections, 96 (33 pc) of the 287 Congress candidates analysed, 169 (61 pc) of the 278 Sena candidates analysed, 119 (43 pc) of the 277 candidates scanned from NCP, 138 (53 pc) of the 258 candidates analysed from BJP and 118 (54 pc) of the 218 MNS candidates examined have declared that criminal cases are pending against them, said Verma.
The Uran, Kalina, Anushakti Nagar and Vandre East constituencies have seven candidates each who are facing criminal cases whereas there are 156 constituencies which have at least three candidates with criminal cases.
ADR said that a total of 42 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women. Of these, 27 candidates have declared charges of assault or use of criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC Sec 354).