Second phase election to witness 49 criminal candidates in K'taka

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Bangalore, May 11 (UNI) Reflecting the alleged nexus between criminals and politicians, the second phase of elections to the Karnataka Assembly will witness as many as 49 candidates with criminal records.

The second phase, in which 66 segments go to the polls, would be held on May 16.

The BJP tops the list of providing tickets with 13 such people with criminal records in the fray, followed by Congress with nine, the JD(S) with eight and the BSP fielding seven such candidates.

Releasing its study on the criminal antecedents of the candidates in the second phase, Karnataka Election Watch, an endeavour of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), said some of these candidates had faced grave charges of murder or attempted murder.

Talking to newspersons here today, Prof Trilochan Sastri, a professor in IIM-B and a member of ADR, said others were accused of using deadly weapons against somebody, forgery, criminal intimidation and giving death threats.

He said this was not a new phenomena as in 2004 the BJP had put up 21 such candidates, the Congress 12 and the JD(S) fielded 19.

''These three frontline parties are least perturbed in fielding candidates with dubious antecedents. There is no significant decline in the numbers of candidates with criminal background,'' he said.

Commenting on assets declared by the candidates, he alleged that the Income Tax authorities were not keen on checking their source of income and other assets.

The assets declared by 372 candidates in the second phase amounted to Rs 902 crore, with an average of Rs 2.42 crore per candidate, he said.

The major parties like Congress, BJP and JD(S) accounted for 88.5 per cent of the total assets declared by the candidates, he said.

The Congress candidates led the list with total assets of Rs 470 crore, an average of Rs 7.35 crore per candidate.

The BJP had total candidate assets of Rs 249.8 crore, an average of Rs 3.78 crore per candidate. The JD(S) candidates accounted for a total assets of Rs 77.9 crore, an average of Rs 1.28 crore, and BSP had Rs 40.6 crore, an average of Rs 0.64 crore, he said.


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