9 candidates in Phase-III have criminal background

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Nov 28: Though purging politics from criminals has become a buzz word now, the J&K does not lag behind other States of country in fielding the candidates with criminal background in ongoing Assembly elections in the State.
There is hardly any political party in the State which can claim of not fielding the candidates with criminal background as nine candidates out of 138 contestants in Assembly elections in the State during the third phase are from criminal background.
Out of them six candidates have serious criminal cases against them which include from robbery to attempt to murder etc. While one candidate out of 15 candidates from Congress, two out of 16 from NC, one out of 8 candidates from BJP and three out of 54 independents have criminal background in the State and they have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits.
This was revealed in a report submitted by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) an organization, which was established in 1999 by a group of professionals from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmadabad in collaboration with J&K Election Watch headed by Balvinder Singh.
The report is based on analysis of affidavits submitted by the candidates while filing their nomination papers before the concerned Returning Officers.
The information reveals that one candidate has a case of attempt to murder against him. Basharat Hussain Najar of Jammu Kashmir Democratic Party Nationalist who is contesting from Assembly Segment of Pattan in North Kashmir district of Baramulla has a declared case of attempt to murder against him under IPC Section 307 while Zahid Hussain of INC from Charar-i-Sharief Constituency has a robbery case under IPC Section 392 against him.
Moreover, there is no dearth of crorepaty candidates contesting elections for third phase also as out of 138 candidates contesting the elections during this phase, 64 are crorepatis. Among them 12 out of 16 belong to NC, 14 out of 16 in JKPDP, two out of eight in BJP, nine out of 15 in Congress and 22 out of 54 independents. These candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs one crore.
The data revealed that the average assets per candidate contesting in the third phase is Rs 2.59 crore while among the political parties average asset per candidate for 16 PDP candidates is Rs 5.27 crore, 16 NC candidates have average assets of Rs 4.33 crore, 15 Congress candidates have average assets worth of Rs 3.48 crore and eight BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 53.82 lakh.
The data further showed that independent candidate, Shabir Ahmed Mir contesting from Gulmarg Assembly Segment of Baramulla district has total assets over Rs 43 crore while Minister of Health and Medical Education Taj Mohi-ud-Din who is seeking mandate for third consecutive term from Assembly Segment of Uri in Baramulla district has assets over 19 crore. Khwaja Mohammed of NC contesting from Sangrama Assembly segment of Baramulla has assets over 16 crore.
The data showed that PDP candidate from Pulwama Assembly Segment of South Kashmir Haseeb A Drabu has total assets over Rs 11 crore while the total income shown by him in ITR is Rs one crore for financial year 2014-15. This is followed by Taj Mohi-ud-Din of Congress who has self income of Rs 45 lakh as shown in ITR.
Besides 109 candidates out of 138 have declared tax details while 41 candidates having assets over one Rs one crore have not declared tax details.

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