Bangalore, May 7 : It is significant that about 47 candidates who are contesting in the first phase of Karnataka assembly elections have criminal records and 82 candidates have declared total assets amounting to whopping rupees 481.2 crores (4.812 billion rupees).
Releasing a report in Bangalore the Karnataka Election Watch Committee underssociation for Democratic reforms pointed out that 12 candidates from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 10 from Congress and 14 from Janata Dal (Secular) have criminal records.
Talking to media, the convener of the election watch committee, Trilochana Sastry, professor at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), pointed out that the average assets of these candidates have increased by 677 per cent. He said: "The three major parties, the Congress, BJP and JD (S), all of them have approximately ten plus or minus candidates with criminal records. It is a matter of concern. "
Over 14 candidates have declared assets over rupees 30 crores, the report added.
Karnataka will witness 89 assembly constituencies going to the polls on May 10, 2008 for Phase 1 in the three-phased elections. In the second phase, 66 constituencies will go to polls on May 16 while the remaining 69 constituencies will go to polls for the third phase on May 22. y K.G.Vasuki