332 Candidates Have Criminal Cases Against Them: Report

BHUBANESWAR

As many as 332 candidates for the ongoing Odisha Assembly elections have criminal cases against them, while 257 aspirants are facing cases of serious offences, a report by Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said today.

While seven candidates have declared convicted cases against themselves, nine aspirants have declared cases related to murder, 63 attempt to murder, 17 kidnapping and 63 crimes against women, it said.

Similarly, 17 candidates have declared cases related to kidnapping against them, while two have declared cases related to rape.

The report was prepared after analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of 1,121 out of 1,137 candidates contesting the Assembly elections being held in four phases in the state.

Sixteen candidates have not been analysed due to unclear affidavit available on the ECI website at the time of making this report, it said.

The report said that the number of candidates who declared criminal cases against them has risen when compared to past elections.

While 332 candidates with criminal cases form 30 per cent of the 1121 hopefuls analysed in 2019, out of 1420 candidates analysed during Odisha Assembly elections in 2014, 333 (23 per cent) candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves.

Out of 1261 candidates analysed during Odisha Assembly elections in 2009, 292 (23 per cent) had declared criminal cases against them, the report said.

A total of 257 of 1,121 candidates analysed have declared serious criminal cases.

In terms of political parties, the report said 58 (40 per cent) out of 146 candidates of BJD, 86 (59 per cent) out of 145 candidates from BJP, 64 (46 per cent) out of 139 candidates from Congress, 12 (11 per cent) of 106 candidates fielded by BSP and 67 (23 per cent) out of 298 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits.

Regarding serious criminal cases, it said 40 out of 146 candidates from BJD, 67 out of 145 candidates from BJP, 48 out of 139 candidates from Congress, 11 out of 106 candidates fielded by BSP and 55 out of 298 Independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

There are 59 assembly constituencies where three or more number of candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.