Mumbai : Beware while voting. According to data released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 23% of the candidates fielded by the five major political parties in the state have serious criminal charges against them including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, communal disharmony, crimes against women etc This is a hike by 2% since the last assembly elections.
The NGO, along with Maharashtra Election Watch, analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 2336 candidates out of 4119 candidates who are contesting this election. They found that 20% of the candidates analysed from Congress, 41% analysed from Shiv Sena, 29% from NCP, 33% candidates analysed from the BJP and 42% candidates analysed from the MNS have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits. Around 200 candidates were analysed from each party for this study. However, this is less than the number of criminal candidates most parties had fielded in 2009, except NCP, for whom the number has risen from 22% and the MNS which has shot up from 36% to 42%.
Out of 1318 candidates fielded by Congress, BJP, MNS, Shiv Sena and NCP, 958 (73%) candidates are crorepatis. This is a marked increase from 52% candidates who were crorepatis during the last election. Eight of these candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs.100 cr. These include Mohit Kamboj of the BJP, Nandkumar Tasgaokar of the Shiv Sena, Mangal Prabhat Lodha of the BJP, Suresh Jain of the Shiv Sena, Abu Aazmi of Samajwadi Party, Prasad Lad of NCP, Jagdish Muluk of the BJP and Hitendra Thakur of the Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi. On the other hand, 14 candidates contesting this election have declared that they have no assets.
55% candidates (not including candidates who are illiterate) have declared that they have an educational qualification of 12th pass or below while 42% candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.
Out of the 1318 candidates fielded by INC, BJP, NCP, Shiv Sena and MNS, only seven per cent are female candidates, which is a two per cent hike from 2009.