'58% BJP candidates have criminal records'
Kolkata: A study conducted by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) regarding criminal records of 306 candidates contesting the sixth phase of ongoing polls reveals that BJP has the highest number of candidates with criminal records. Out of 43 candidates, 25 (58 per cent) of the saffron party nominees have criminal records and 20 of them are charged with serious offences.
ADR is a social organisation that works in the area of electoral and political reforms. Among the Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidates, 24 (56 per cent) of the 43 candidates have criminal records of whom 20 are charged with serious crimes.
As many as 14 of the 23 CPI (M) candidates and 5 of the 12 Congress candidates have criminal backgrounds. At least 9 independent candidates have criminal records.
Interestingly, 66 candidates (22 per cent of the total candidates) have assets worth crores of rupees, while 94 have not been able to pass the 10th standard examination.
As many as 28 TMC candidates have assets worth more than rupees one crore. At least 19 BJP candidates possess assets worth rupees crores.
Apart from that, 3 candidates from Congress, 4 from CPI(M), 2 from Forward Bloc and 1 from CPI have assets worth rupees more than one crore.
Archana Majumdar of BJP, who is contesting from Dum Dum North seat in North 24-Parganas district, is the richest, owning assets worth Rs 28.5 crore. After Majumdar, Independent candidate Binoy Kumar Das, who is contesting from Karandighi in North Dinajpur district, owns assets worth Rs 22.3 crore.
BJP candidate from Itahar in North Dinajpur district is the third richest candidate with assets worth Rs 16 crore. Interestingly, the poorest among them Sandeep Sarkar, a BSP candidate from East Burdwan, has only Rs 1,100 in his account.
When it comes to educational qualification of the candidates, the ADR report shows that 94 candidates (30 per cent) have not studied beyond class X.
Only 37 candidates have passed class X. Only 38 of them have passed class VIII, 11 of them have passed class V, 7 are literate and one is illiterate.
At least 82 candidates are graduates, 20 are graduate professionals and 55 of them hold post-graduate degrees.