Political watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Thursday analysed the candidates contesting Gujarat elections and the report stated a spike in the number of candidates with criminal background contesting this Phase -1 of the forthcoming elections. The new entrant in Gujarat politics Aam Aadmi Party has nominated the highest number of candidates (36%) with criminal background. On the contrary, there has been a decrease in the number of such candidates nominated by BJP i.e. 67% in 2017 and 29% candidates in 2022. Meanwhile, Congress remains constant at around 36% in fielding criminal candidates.
“The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in Phase 1 of the Gujarat Assembly Elections as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 21 per cent candidates with criminal cases,” the ADR report said.
Party wise Candidates with Criminal Cases
Among the major parties, 32(36%) out of 88 candidates analysed from AAP, 31(35%) out of 89 candidates analysed from INC, 14 (16%) out of 89 candidates analysed from BJP and 4 (29%) out of 14 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases
Among the major parties, 26(30%) out of 88 candidates analysed from AAP, 18(20%) out of 89 candidates analysed from INC, 11 (12%) out of 89 candidates analysed from BJP and 1 (7%) out of 14 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Red Alert Constituencies: 25(28%) out of 89 constituencies are Red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where 3 or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
Party wise Crorepati Candidates
The role of money power in our elections is evident from the fact that all major political parties give tickets to wealthy candidates. Among the major parties 79(89%) out of 89 candidates analysed from BJP, 65(73%) out of 89 candidates analysed from INC and 33(38%) out of 88 candidates analysed from AAP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.
The average of assets per candidate contesting in the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022 Phase I is Rs 2.88 Crores. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase 1, average assets per candidate for 923 candidates was Rs.2.16 crores.
Party wise average assets
Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 89 BJP candidates analysed is Rs. 13.40 Crores, 89 INC candidates analysed is Rs 8.38 Crores, 88 AAP candidates have average assets of Rs 1.99 Crore and 14 Bhartiya Tribal Party candidates have average assets worth Rs 23.39 Lakhs.
Education details of candidates
Politics seems like a domain where education is not of prime importance. This time, 492(62%) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5 th and 12th standard while 185 (23%) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. 21 candidates are diploma holders. 53 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 37 candidates are illiterate.
Age details of candidates
In the forthcoming elections 277(35%) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 431 (55%) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 to 60 years. There are 79(10%) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years and 1 candidate has declared he is more than 80 years old.
Gender details of candidates
The gender divide is screwed in politics. This time, 69(9%) female candidates are contesting in the Gujarat assembly election 2022 Phase I. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase 1, 57(6%) out of 923 candidates analysed were women.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will take place on December 8.