New Delhi, Nov 2 : As many as 1,201 of the 3,722 candidates (over 32 per cent) in the Bihar Assembly elections have criminal cases pending against them, of which 915 are serious, an election watchdog body’s report said on Monday.
The report said that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had maximum candidates with criminal cases, followed by the BJP.
The report released by the Bihar Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 3,722 of the total 3,733 candidates. The report did not mention the non-inclusion of the remaining 10 candidates.
Out of these 3,722 candidates, 349 are from national parties, 470 from state parties, 1,607 from registered unrecognised parties and 1,296 Independents.
It said: “A total of 98 of the 141 RJD candidates whose affidavits were analysed face criminal cases, followed by the BJP with 76 out of 109 candidates.
The report pointed out that 45 out of 70 candidates of the Congress have pending criminal cases, followed by 70 of 135 from Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), 56 of 115 from Janata Dal-United, and 29 of 78 candidates from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
As per the report, 72 out of the 141 RJD candidates face serious criminal cases, followed by 55 of the 109 BJP candidates, 33 of the 70 Congress candidates, 55 of 135 LJP nominees, 36 of the 115 candidates from Janata Dal-United and 23 of the 78 BSP candidates.
Of the total tainted candidates, 115 declared cases related to crime against women, including 12 who declared cases related to rape.
A total of 73 candidates declared murder cases and 278 others attempt to murder.
The report mentioned that Supreme Court directions had no effect on political parties in the selection of candidates as they again followed old practice of giving tickets.
All major parties contesting the Bihar Assembly elections gave tickets to 37 per cent to 70 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves.
It said that the Supreme Court directions dated February 13 had specifically instructed the parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
As per these mandatory guidelines, the candidates have to be selected with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit.
Elections are slated to be held in three phases for the 243 Assembly seats in Bihar. The first-phase elections were held in Bihar on October 28 in 71 constituencies in 16 districts.
In the second phase, voting for 94 seats will be held on November 3. In the third phase, 78 seats will go to polls on November 7. Counting will take place on November 10.