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20% in Guj poll fray have criminal past: Report

NCP leads pack with 56% declaring criminal cases, Congress, BJP follow with 32% and 27%

Twenty per cent of the candidates contesting the Gujarat Assembly polls, who are fielded by major political outfits, have a criminal record, a National Election Watch (New) analysis report says.

Gujarat Election Watch (Gew), the state chapter of New, analysed affidavits of 955 candidates out of 1,666 candidates, who are contesting the state assembly polls.

"Out of the 955 candidates, 192 candidates or 20 per cent of them declared criminal cases," the report states.

In the 2007 assembly elections for the whole of Gujarat, 23 per cent candidates had declared criminal cases. Majority of the parties have issued tickets to candidates who have declared criminal cases against them.

Among the major parties, leads the pack in percentage terms with 5 out of 9 candidates (56%) declaring criminal cases, followed by, INC 55 out of 171 (32%), by 48 out of 180 (27%), GPP 34 out of 157 (22 %), JD(U) 9 out of 60 (15%), SP 8 out of 59 (14%), and 10 out of 150 (7%), candidates with declared criminal cases.
Out of these 192 candidates, 90 have have declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, rape amongst others, as per the report.
Of such candidates, GPP has 17, 21, BJP 24, SP has three, NCP and BSP have four each, against whom charges have been framed, the report states.
Among the top three candidates from major political parties who have declared serious criminal cases of murder, kidnapping and theft against them are, Vasava Chhotubhai Amarsinh of JD(U) from Jhagadia constituency.
He has declared nine cases related to dacoity, seven charges related to theft and three related to murder.
Former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah (of BJP from Naranpura constituency) has declared two charges related to murder and 2 charges related to kidnapping, the report states.
Takatsinh Ravsinh Solanki of Congress from Shehra constituency has declared two charges related to murder, it states.
Two candidates have declared charges related to rape against themselves-Jethabhai G. Ahir of BJP from Shehra constituency and Prafulchandra Punjabhai Vankar of BSP from the same constituency, the analysis report states.
Vankar has declared that he has been acquitted but the case is still pending, as per the report.
Two candidates, who have declared that they have cases registered against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act are-- Natvarlal Pitambardas Patel of (Congress) from Mehsana constituency and Jashabhai Banabhai Barad (Congress) from Somnath constituency.

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