Bengaluru: As many as 391 candidates contesting the state Assembly elections have criminal charges against them, while 254 others have serious criminal cases against them. In all, 883 corepatis are contesting the elections, which are scheduled for May 12.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which analysed 2,560 of the 2,655 candidates in the fray based on the affidavits filed before the Election Commission of India (ECI), released its report in the city on Sunday evening.
The BJP tops the list with the highest number of candidates with criminal cases.
Of the 224 candidates from the BJP, 83 or 37% of its total contestants have criminal backgrounds, 59 (27%) out of 220 candidates from Congress, 41 (21%) out of 199 candidates from the JD(S), five (20%) of 25 candidates from the JD(U), five (19%) out of 27 candidates from the AAP and 108 (10%) out of 1,090 independents declared that they have criminal cases against them. The BJP's 58 candidates, which constitutes 26% of all its contestants, have serious criminal cases, like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, etc, pending against them.
Thirty-two or 15% from the Congress, 29 (15%) from the JD(S), three (12%) from the JD(U), one (4%) from AAP and 70 (6%) independents have declared serious offences against them.
Red alert constituencies
The state, which has 224 Assembly seats, has 56 or 25% red-alert constituencies, where three or more candidates have criminal cases. The Karnataka Election Watch and ADR analysed the self-declared affidavits of 2,560 out of 2,655 candidates contesting the assembly polls.
The declarations of 95 candidates could not be analysed as their affidavits were badly scanned or incomplete affidavits were available on ECI and the CEO Karnataka websites.
Priyakrishna, contesting on a Congress ticket from Govindarajnagar in Bengaluru, is the richest candidate with assets of Rs 1,020 crore. He is followed by N. Nagaraju, who is contesting on a Congress ticket from Hoskote, with assets of Rs 1,015 crore. Third on the list is D.K. Shivakumar, energy minister in the present government, with assets worth Rs 840 crore.
Crorepatis ‘beg’ for votes
Of all the candidates analysed, 883 (35%) are crorepatis. Among major parties, 208 (93%) from the BJP, 207 (94%) from the Congress, 154 (77%) from the JD(S), 13 (52%) from the JD(U), nine (33%) from the AAP and 199 (18%) independents have assets of over Rs 1 crore. The average assets per candidate are Rs 7.54 crore. For BJP, it is Rs 17.86 crore, for Congress Rs 38.75 crore, for JD(S) Rs 20.91 crore and for independents, it is Rs 1.58 crore. Four candidates have declared that they face murder charges, 25 candidates have attempt to murder cases and 23 candidates face charges of crimes against women.
Seventeen candidates have declared zero assets. A total of 309 (12%) out of the 2,560 candidates analysed have not declared their PAN details. The youngest candidate is 20 years old. 849 (33%) candidates are between 25 and 40 years of age, while 1,351 (53%) candidates are 41-60 years old. 347 (14%) candidates are aged between 61 and 80 years, while five candidates are above 80 years. Seven candidates have not given their age in their affidavits. In all, 209 (8%) women candidates are contesting.
1,351 (53%) candidates are between fifth pass and 12th pass, while 981(38%) candidates are graduates or above. Fifty-two (2%) have declared themselves literate, whereas 20 (2%) of candidates have declared themselves as illiterate. 11 candidates have not given their education details.