More than a third of Trinamool Congress and half of BJP candidates elected to the West Bengal assembly on Sunday have serious criminal charges against them, according to a new report.
The report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said of the 213 TMC candidates voted to power, 73 have faced serious criminal charges. Similarly, 39 BJP MLAs from a total of 77 have faced these charges.
The poll rights group analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all the 292 winning candidates in West Bengal. (The assembly is 294-seat strong, but the Election Commission had adjourned polling for the Jangipur and Samserganj constituencies after the deaths of their candidates.)
The report also noted that 91, or 43 per cent, winning candidates from the TMC, 50, or 65 per cent, winning candidates from the BJP and 1 Independent candidate have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The report also provides a breakdown of the different serious criminal charges declared by the candidates. “Winning candidates with serious criminal cases: 113 (39%) winning candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, etc,” it said.
Ten of these MLAs are facing murder charges and 30 have cases related to attempt to murder.
Twenty MLAs have declared that they have faced cases related to crimes against women. One has a rape charge against him.
The criteria used to determine the serious criminal cases included offences with a maximum punishment of five years or more, non-bailable offences, electoral offences, offences related to loss to exchequer, assault, murder, kidnapping, rape, offences mentioned in Representation of the People Act and Prevention of Corruption Act, and crimes against women.