In the 16th Lok Sabha elections, 19 percent candidates have criminal records. According to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Uttar Pradesh Election Watch, out of 1259 candidates in the Samajwadi Party-ruled state, 235 had mentioned about their tainted background in their nomination papers.

Whether they get elected  by the people or not would be known only by May 16 but there is no doubt behind this fact that these candidates have left no stone unturned in testing their electoral prospects, be it from jail or outside it.

Be it Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), both the parties, which speak high of giving clean and good governance, have a number of candidates with criminal records.

Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) tops the list with 55 percent tainted candidates, Samajwadi Party (SP) with 46 percent, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with 44 percent and Congress with 40 percent candidates with tainted background. The BJP also fielded 36 percent tainted candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.

The BSP has issued tickets to several candidates who are accused of heinous crimes like rape and murder. Though a few of them are locked behind the bars, the Mayawati-led party showed no qualm in fielding them.

Similarly, strongman MLA from Mau, who is lodged in Agra Jail, has around 15 cases including murder registered against him but he filed his papers from jail and also contested from Ghosi in an interesting political battle.

After getting a Samajwadi Party ticket, former MP and strongman Atiq Ahmed also tried his luck and even displayed his might but could not do anything more after Election Commission cracked its whip on him.

Peace Party candidate Rizwan Khan, who was contesting against him also left no stone unturned to showcase his might. Besides, the BJP also banked on leaders like Ramakant Yadav in Azamgarh, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh in Kaisarganj, while the SP put its money on Vinod Singh Pandit. The list of such candidates is quite long.

Several candidates, who are contesting the elections, carry serious charges like murder and attempt to murder against them and they themselves made all this public in their affidavits.

Mukhtar Ansari, Azfal Ansari, BSP’s Ravishankar Singh Pappu in Salempur, BSP candidate from Khiri Arvind Giri, Ajay Kumar Mishra of BJP, SP’s Rameshwar Singh in Farukhabad  and Yogesh Kumar of BSP in Mathura have murder cases registered against them.

BSP candidate from Dumriyaganj Manoj Kumar is accused of rape and forcefully trying to marry a woman and kidnapping her and Independent candidate from Jaunpur Dhananjay Singh has also been booked on rape and murder charge.

BSP candidate from Bansgaon Gorakh Prasad is accused of atrocities against a woman. Besides, CPI-ML candidate from Khiri Lok Sabha constituency Krishna Adhikari, RLD candidate from Amroha Rakesh Tikait and AAP’s Nagina candidate Sarika Chaudhary have attempt to murder charges against them.

Another candidate from Amroha Sarvesh Kumar Saini has a case of atrocity against woman in his name. Besides, holy man Sacchidanand Hari Sakshi is not that holy as the BJP leader from Unnao has around eight criminal cases lodged against his name.

BSP candidate from Sultanpur Pawan Pandey has given details of his name being associated with a rape case and he also faces the charge of harassing women and another serious charge.

The list of tainted candidates is indeed pretty long.

JPN/Bureau

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