Uttarakhand has followed the old practice of fielding criminals and nearly 17 per cent of the candidates in the ongoing Assembly elections have criminal backgrounds.
According to a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), all major parties contesting in the elections have given tickets to 17 per cent to 33 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The Supreme Court had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
In Uttarakhand, out of the of 626 candidates analysed, 107 (17 per cent ) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, out of 637 candidates analysed, 91(14 per cent) had declared criminal cases against themselves.
As a result of this, 13 out of 70 constituencies have been declared as 'Red Alert Constituencies'.
Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
Nearly 61 candidates in these elections face serious criminal cases.
In the 2017 Uttarakhand elections, 54 candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Among the major parties, candidates having criminal cases include Congress where 11 out of 70 candidates belong to this category.
The BJP has eight such candidates, AAP has nine candidates while BSP has six. Four out of 42 candidates are from the UKD.
There are six candidates with declared cases related to crime against women.
Of the six candidates, one candidate has declared case related to person committing rape repeatedly on the same woman (IPC Section- 376(2)(n)).
One candidate has declared a case of murder against him while three have cases of attempt to murder against them.
Since there is ample muscle power in the elections, there is bound to be money power too.
Among the major parties, out of 70 candidates, 60 are from BJP, 56 from Congress, 31 from AAP, 18 out of 54 candidates from BSP and 12 out of 42 candidates analysed from UKD who have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.
The average of assets per candidate contesting in the Uttarakhand Assembly elections 2022 is Rs 2.74 crores. In 2017 Uttarakhand assembly elections, average assets per candidate for 637 candidates was Rs 1.57 crore.
As for the educational details of candidates, 244 candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard while 344 candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.
Seven candidates are diploma holders and 26 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 3 candidates are illiterate. Two candidates have not given their educational qualification.
Among the candidates contesting the elections, 167 are between the age of 25 and 40 years while 356 candidates have declared their age to be between 41 and 60 years. There are 101 candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years and 2 candidates have declared that they are more than 80 years old.
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