CRIME & POLITICS: Significant chunk of candidates have criminal history, politics at its lowest ebb

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In society, a commoner with a criminal past or a person with serious criminal cases pending against his or her name would automatically amount to social boycott. People around with slightest of knowledge of crime history of a person prefer to stay away as much as possible.
However, in Indian politics, it is vice-versa. A politician with decent crime sheet is a hot favourite for contesting elections, provided has a sound financial background and enough clout in political echelons to merit a ticket of a political outfit to contest polls.

The more the muscle power, the better the chances to contest polls as such undue clout attracts crowd and hero worship. For local criminals with some social connect and political bonding from the area MLA or Member of Parliament at times prove as a boon and pave way to enter politics. As per ADR report, in past four phases of ongoing Lok Sabha elections, polling for which has already been completed, a significant count of candidates of different political parties have serious criminal cases against their names including that of murder. Interestingly some of these candidates have also been convicted by a court of law in serious cases of crime, but still afforded to merit a ticket to contest polls.

PHASE – I

In phase I of polling of the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections which was held on April 19 in 102 constituencies of 21 states, out of the total 1618 candidates, 251 (16%) have declared criminal cases against themselves while 160 (10%) have declared serious criminal cases registered on their names.
Reports revealed 14 candidates have declared cases where they have been convicted while 7 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section -302) against their names.
Also 19 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307) against their names.

PHASE -II

Similarly, in phase II of elections, polling for which was held on April 26, 2024, 250 (21%) out of 1192 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves while 167 (14%) out of 1192 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. 32 candidates have declared cases of crime where they have been convicted wile 3 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section -302) against themselves. Also 24 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307) against their names.

It may be mentioned that Phase II stands out viz-a-viz other phases in respect to criminal heavy weights contesting ongoing polls.

Top 3 Candidates with Maximum Declared Criminal Cases in Phase II

 

S.No. State Constituency Candidate Party Total cases Serious IPC
1 Kerala Wayanad K Surendran BJP 243 139
2 Kerala Ernakulam Dr.K.S. Radhakrishnan BJP 211 5
3 Kerala Idukki Adv. Dean Kuriakose INC 88 23

 

PHASE III

Similarly, in phase III of polling of the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections held on May 7, 2024 in 94 constituencies of 12 states, out of the total 1352 candidates, 244(18%) have declared criminal cases against their names while 172 (13%) have declared serious criminal cases. 7 candidates have declared cases where they have been convicted while 5 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section -302) against their names. Also24 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307) their names.

Phase IV

In phase IV of polling of the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections held on May 13, 2024 in 96 constituencies of 10 states, out of the total 1710 candidates, 360(21%) have declared criminal cases against their names while 274(16%) have declared serious criminal cases. Likewise, 17 candidates have declared cases where they have been convicted while 11 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section -302) against their names. Also, 30 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307) against their names.

Criteria for serious criminal cases

1. Offence for which maximum punishment is of 5 years or more.
2. If an offence is non-bailable.
3. If it is an electoral offence (for eg. IPC 171E or bribery).
4. Offence related to loss to exchequer.
5. Offences that are related to assault, murder, kidnap, rape, etc.
6. Offences that are mentioned in Representation of the People Act (Section 8).
7. Offences under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Phase Total Candidates Criminal Cases Serious Criminal Cases Declared

Convicts

Murder Attempt to Murder
I 1618 251(16%) 160 (10%) 14 7 19
II 1192 250 (21%) 167 (14%) 32 3 24
III 1352 244 (18%) 172 (13%) 7 5 24
IV 1710 360 (21%) 274 (16%) 17 11 30

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