The Gujarat Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 833 candidates who are contesting in the Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase II in the following 93 constituencies. As many as 330 of 1,621 candidates, or around 20%, contesting the elections have criminal cases registered against them.
Among the major parties, 29(32%) out of 90 candidates analysed from INC, 29(31%) out of 93 candidates analysed from AAP, 18 (19%) out of 93 candidates analysed from BJP and 4 (33%) out of 12 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
As per the data, Congress has the highest number of criminal cases, on this INC’s national spokesperson Alok Sharma told Vibes of India, “BJP has the highest number of criminal candidates. Not just Gujarat, look at the overall party. Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Assam CM Himanta Sarma, BJP’s State Chief CR Paatil–all of them have criminal cases against them. Why don’t we ask questions about them?”
Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: Among the major parties, 10(11%) out of 90 candidates analysed from INC, 17(18%) out of 93 candidates analysed from AAP, 14 (15%) out of 93 candidates analysed from BJP and 1 (8%) out of 12 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Candidates with declared cases related to crime against women: 9 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Out of 9 candidates 1 candidate has declared case related to rape (IPC Section-376).
Candidates with declared cases related to murder: 2 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves.
Candidates with declared cases related to attempt to murder: 8 candidates have declared cases related to Attempt to murder(IPC Section-307) against themselves.
Red Alert Constituencies: 19(20%) out of 93 constituencies are Red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where 3 or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
Directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect
The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in Phase II of the Gujarat Assembly Elections as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 20% candidates with criminal cases. All major parties contesting in Gujarat phase II elections have given tickets to 19 % to 33 % candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The Supreme Court in its directions dated 13th February, 2020 had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates. As per these mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selection has to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned.
During the recent 6 State Assembly elections held in 2022, it was observed that political parties gave unfounded and baseless reasons like popularity of the person, does good social work, cases are politically motivated etc. These are not sound and cogent reasons for fielding candidates with tainted backgrounds. This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers.
The Assembly polls in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5. The results will be declared on December 8. The Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party are the main contenders in the polls.