Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Bihar, money and muscle power pack a punch in phase…

The sixth phase, scheduled to be held on May 12, has by far the highest number of candidates facing criminal cases, according to a study by the Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the basis of self-sworn affidavits of 125 of the total 127 candidates in fray.

This phase also has the highest number of 44 crorepati candidates (35%) and 15 female candidates (12%). The age profile of the candidates shows that 90 of the 127 candidates are below 50, of which 50 are below 40 years.

A higher number of eight Lok Sabha constituencies, Valmikinagar, Purvi Champaran, Paschimi Champaran, Sheohar, Vaishali, Maharajganj, Siwan and Gopalganj go to polls in the sixth phase. While the first phase involved four seats, next four phases included five seats each.

The maximum number of 22 candidates are contesting from Purvi Champaran and Vaishali, followed by Siwan (19) and Sheohar (18).

All the parties have fielded candidates with criminal cases. There are 43 candidates (34%) having declared criminal charges, while the number of those facing serious criminal charges is 34 (27%). Serious charges include offences for which maximum punishment is of five years or more, the offence being non-bailable, involving loss to exchequer, crime against women or other heinous crimes like murder, kidnapping or rape.

In the fourth phase also, out of 66 candidates, 24 (36%) had declared criminal cases against them, while 21 (32%) faced serious criminal cases. In the fifth phase, out of 82 candidates in the fray 21 (26%) had declared criminal cases, while 14 (17%) had declared serious criminal cases.

In the present lot of Lok Sabha MPS from Bihar, 28 of the 40 MPS from across all political parties face bigger or smaller criminal cases.

BSP candidate from Valmikinagar, Deepak Yadav, is the richest candidate with assets worth Rs 59. 46 crore, followed by LJP candidate from Vaishali Veena Devi (Rs 33.72-crore) and BJP candidate from Sheohar Rama Devi (Rs 32 crore). In contrast, Parasnath Ram of the Janata Party, in fray from Purvi Champaran, has the lowest assets worth just Rs 5,000.

In terms of average assets, BJP is on top. The average assets of its candidates comes to around Rs 14 crore, followed by BSP (Rs 9.76 crore) and RJD (Rs 4.39 crore). The average assets of all candidates for the eight seats comes to around Rs 2.66 crore. However, in terms of literacy, more than half the candidates (66) have qualification of class 12 or below.

Also Read | Lok Sabha elections 2019: In Bihar’s Purvi Champaran, BJP looks to make a comeback

First Published:
May 08, 2019 16:26 IST

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