PATNA: Analysis of self-sworn affidavits of the 43 candidates, who are contesting the Bihar by polls for the five assembly seats, shows that nearly 50 percent (21) of the total candidates have declared criminal cases against them, while 33 percent (14) have accepted about serious criminal cases registered against them.
Further analysis of the affidavits indicated that almost all the political parties have given candidates with criminal charges against them. Percentage of contestants with registered criminal cases is 100 percent for the political outfits, including Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), CPI (ML) (L), Rashtriya Samta Party (Secular), Rashtriya Janata Dal and Akhil Bharatiya Mithila Party.
The ruling Janata Dal (United) and the Communist Party of India is lying lower down the ladder with only 25 and 33 percent of candidates respectively with criminal cases.
Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms have jointly conducted analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of the candidates that they submitted along with their nomination papers.
Criminal cases registered against the various contestants include the serious charges of murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, theft, forgery for purpose of cheating and even assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty among many other charges.
Analysis of financial background of the contenders reveals that 40 percent (17) of the total are crorepatis, while the average assets of the candidates turn out to be Rs 1.75 crore. Sweety Singh, contesting from Kishanganj on BJP symbol, is the richest candidate with total declared assets of over Rs 19 crore.
Sayeeda Banu of Congress party and contesting from Kishanganj is the second richest with total declared assets of over Rs eight crore and Karnjeet Singh alias Vyas Singh, contesting from Daraundha as an independent candidate, is the third richest with total declared assets of over Rs six crore.
Three candidates, including Sweety Singh (BJP), Laldhari Yadav (JD (U)) and Sayeeda Banu (Congress) have declared highest annual income of over Rs 25 lakh each.
Educational details of contestants show that 40 percent (17) of the total have declared to have attained education between grades VIII and intermediate, whereas 51 percent (22) of the total contenders have declared their educational qualification as graduate or above. Besides, one candidate is a diploma holder, while three candidates have declared to be just literate and have not mentioned their degrees or class upto which they have attained education.
Age-related details of candidates showcase that 72 percent (31) of the total are between the age-group of 25 and 50 years. And the rest 28 percent (12) of them have declared their age between 51 and 80 years.
Of the total candidates in fray in the state by elections, only four women contestants are there, implying just nine percent of the total candidates are females, which proves male hegemony in electoral politics. It also shows that women members have a long way to go and 33 percent reservation for them has turned out to be a mere rhetoric by the political parties, as nothing substantial or concrete has been done on the ground till date to achieve the same.