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NGOs to create awareness about candidates before polls

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Apr 11: A forum of voluntary organisations has started an awareness campaign in West Bengal to make voters aware of the candidates contesting the Assembly polls.

Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts are going to the polls in the first phase on April 17 Talking to mediapersons here, West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW) General Secretary Biplab Halim said yesterday that the main objective of the initiative was to make the citizens aware of the candidates who would represent them for the next five years.

Mr Halim said there is growing discontent among the voters about legislators.

''We aim to make the political parties more responsive and responsible through this campaign,'' he said.

''We have collected data about the candidates from the Election Commission, District Magistrates and then analysed those while throwing light on the credentials of the nominees,''Mr Halim added.

WBEW's analysis shows 41 out of 174 candidates (excluding independents) have pending criminal cases against them.

The analysis says 19 out of 30 AITC, seven out of 36 Congress and six out of 35 CPI(M) candidates have pending criminal cases against them, he added.

Mr Halim said of the 174 candidates, 12 have total assets worth Rs 30 lakhs and 33 per cent of these candidates do not have PAN.

The forum is a network of 160 NGOs under the aegis of Forum of Voluntary Organisations, West Bengal. Authors, sciologists, poets and people from various sections of the society have joined this forum.

UNI

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