In the analysis of the 223 candidates vying for the first phase of voting on 20 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh, it has come to light that at least 26 of them have criminal records. Among these, the highest number, five candidates, belong to the BJP.
This information has been presented in a report by Chhattisgarh Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The report extensively examined the self-affidavits of all 223 candidates participating in the initial phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections, scheduled for November 7. According to the report, out of the 223 candidates scrutinized, 26 (12 percent) have disclosed having criminal cases against them, with 16 (7 percent) among them being involved in serious criminal cases.
Of the 20 candidates assessed from the major political parties, 25 percent of them belong to the BJP, 10 percent are from the Congress, 20 percent are associated with the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J), and 40 percent are from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). All of these candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
The report also highlights that among the major political parties, 20 percent of the candidates from the BJP, 13 percent from Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), and 10 percent from AAP have declared serious criminal cases in their affidavits.
Additionally, the report identifies that within the 20 constituencies in question, 25 percent of them are considered "red alert" constituencies. These are constituencies where three or more contesting candidates have reported criminal cases against themselves.
It's notable that all the major political parties participating in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections have nominated candidates with criminal backgrounds, ranging from 10 percent to 40 percent. This practice has raised concerns, and it is important to note that the Supreme Court, in its directives issued on February 13, 2020, had explicitly called for political parties to provide explanations for such selections and justify why candidates with no criminal records could not be chosen instead.