12 candidates in 4th phase have criminal background

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Dec 4: Notwithstanding the Government claims of making poll reforms and freeing politics of criminal and corrupt elements, a number of candidates with criminal background are in the poll fray for fourth phase of elections also in Jammu and Kashmir State like other States of the country.
Except National Conference no other political party including Congress, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can claim not to have fielded the candidates with criminal background in the elections for fourth phase.
Going through the data with election authorities, out of 182 candidates contesting elections to State Assembly in the fourth phase, 12 candidates have declared criminal cases against them.
This was revealed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) an organization established in 1999 by a group of professionals from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad in collaboration with J&K Election Watch headed by Balwinder Singh.
As per data, eight of 12 candidates are with serious criminal cases against them and out of 18 candidates of Congress who jumped the poll fray for the fourth phase in the State, three have criminal background while 4 candidates of PDP out of 18 are sailing in the same boat and 2 out of 17 candidates of BJP too belong to criminal background. Besides, two candidates out of 58 independents have also criminal cases against them.
The data showed that two Congress, three PDP, one of BJP and one among 58 independents have serious criminal cases against them.
Not only this, the data also revealed that 126 candidates out of 182 have not declared their Income Tax (IT) details which included 35 candidates with assets worth more than rupees one crore. Besides, 15 candidates with total assets over Rs one crore have not declared PAN details also.
Three candidates including Moti Koul of BJP, Satwant Kour and Surjit Singh Slathia both of NC have declared high income in ITR.
The data showed that nine candidates have declared that they are illiterate, 87 are 10+2 pass or below, while 82 have declared that they are graduate or above. Moreover three contestants are in the age group of 71 to 80 years, as per the data.
There are four female candidates contesting in the fourth phase while six candidates have declared agriculture as their main source of livelihood in their affidavits.
The data also revealed that nine candidates have declared assets over Rs 10 crore while three candidates have declared zero assets in their affidavits.

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