"Of the 359 candidates in the fray in 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in Gujarat, 
69 have criminal records"
69 of the 359 candidates in the fray in Gujarat have criminal records

Manas Dasgupta

BJP tops list with 11 of its 26 candidates having such records

AHMEDABAD: Of the 359 candidates in the fray in 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in 
Gujarat, 69 have criminal records.
According to data compiled by the Gujarat Election Watch, a part of the 
National Election Watch organisation monitoring the candidates in the 2009 Lok 
Sabha elections, all the parties have candidates with criminal records; topping 
the list was the BJP with 11 of its 26 candidates having criminal records, 
followed by the Congress with a close 10. The Bahujan Samaj Party, which 
fielded 24 candidates, has four. Three come from the newly-formed Mahagujarat 
Janata Party, which has put up candidates in 16 constituencies.
The 69 candidates together have 136 criminal cases registered against them, of 
which 48 cases were of a serious nature, including charges of murder, attempt 
to murder, kidnapping, extortion and such others. Though Gujarat had a 
reasonablly good record in law and order compared to many other States, 19.22 
per cent of its candidates have criminal records.
Among the individual candidates, Vithhalbhai Radadiya, with 16 cases listed 
against him, topped the list of candidates with criminal records. While he has 
five cases of a serious nature, Janata Dal (united) nominee for the Broach 
parliamentary seat Chhotubhai Vasava has 13 such cases against him.
The GEW considers as “Red Alert constituencies” those which have three or more 
candidates with criminal records; there are 16 such constituencies; Junagadh 
tops the list, with six of its candidates figuring in police records, followed 
by five in Navsari, four each in Rajkot, Broach, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, 
Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad east, and three each in Surendranagar, Jamnagar, 
Banaskantha, Surat, Bulsar, Vadodara, Kutch and Ahmedabad west.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms and the GEW, which compiled 
the data furnished by the candidates in their affidavits while filling their 
nomination papers, 47 candidates in the fray have wealth over Rs. one crore, 
with the highest being the BSP nominee for the Surendranagar seat, Khimjibhai 
Patadia, with assets of over Rs. 514 crore. But incidentally, though Mr. 
Patadia is a builder, he does not have a PAN number.
Of the 47 “crorepatis,” the Congress has fielded 17, the BJP 12 and the MJP 
four, but incidentally 204 of the 359 candidates do not have PAN numbers.
The brighter side is that 115 of the total candidates are graduates or above.

With Regards


Knowledge is the best gift, and manner is the best transaction
- Ali


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