Shimla: A total of 69 candidates in the fray for Himachal Assembly elections are facing criminal cases against them, an election watchdog has found.

The report was released by the Himachal Pradesh Election Watch after analysing affidavits submitted by 445 out of the 459 candidates who are contesting the elections.

69 of these 459 candidates have criminal cases against them which are 16 percent of the candidates against the 18 percent in 2007 elections.

Almost all major political parties, including Congress, BJP, CPI(M) and HLP have given tickets to candidates with criminal backgrounds, the report said.

Giving a break up, it said that Congress has 16 candidates out of 68 with criminal background (24 percent), while BJP has 7 out of 67 (10 percent).

Similarly, BSP has 8 candidates out of 62 (13 percent), HLP has 6 of 32 (19 percent), AITC 2 out of 26 (8 percent), CPI(M) 10 out of 16 (63 percent) and IND has 9 out of 98 (9 percent) candidates with declared criminal cases.

Candidates facing serious criminal cases are 30 of these 69 candidates with cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion pending against them.

Of these 30 candidates, CPM has fielded 5, INC 5, BJP has 4, HLP 1 and BSP has fielded 5 such candidates.

41 candidates are facing charges of crime like kidnapping, theft and dacoity.


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