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22% of Gujarat candidates have declared criminal cases: GEW
The Gujarat Election Watch (GEW), the Gujarat chapter of National Election Watch - a conglomeration of over 1200 civil society organizations working on political and electoral reforms - has released a report on the analysis of criminal details of candidates contesting in the first phase of Gujarat 2012 Assembly Elections.

RELEASING THE report in a press conference, the GEW said that they had analyzed affidavits of 482 candidates out of 846 candidates, who are contesting in the 1st phase of Gujarat 2012 assembly elections.

Out of 482 candidates analyzed for the 1st phase of the elections, '104 candidates or 22 % have declared criminal cases against them'. In 2007 assembly elections for the whole of Gujarat, 23% candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves.

"Amongst major parties, every party has given tickets to candidates who have declared criminal cases. INC has 27 out of 83 (33 %), BJP has 22 out of 87 (25%), BSP has 7 out of 78 (9%), JD(U) has 7 out of 29 (24 %), SP has 5 out of 19 (26%), NCP has 2 out of 3 (67%) and GPP has 21 out of 83 (25%) candidates with declared criminal cases.

Candidates with serious criminal cases: Out of these 104 candidates with declared criminal cases, 46 have declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion etc. GPP has 11, INC has 8, BJP has 9, JD (U) has 6, NCP has 2 and BSP has 1 such candidates.

Candidates against whom charges have been framed: Out of these 104 candidates with declared criminal cases, charges have been framed against 73 candidates with cases of kidnapping, murder, dacoity etc.

Candidates with heinous and violent crime cases: The following candidates have declared serious criminal cases of murder, kidnapping and theft against them: (1) Vasava Chhotubhai Amarsinh of JD(U) from Jhagadia (ST) constituency has declared three charges of murder and one charge related to attempt to murder. (2) Maheshbhai chhotubhai Vasava of JD(U) from Dediapada (ST) constituency has declared two charges related to murder and and charge related to attempt to murder (3) Patel Altaf Gafurbhai of JD(U) contesting from Vagra constituency has declared one charge related to murder 4) Somani Jitendrabhai Kantilal (BJP) from Wankaner constituency has declared two charges relating to attempt to murder 5) Arjunbhai Laljibhai Gamit (JD(U)) contesting from Nizar (ST) constituency too has declared two charges relating to attempt to murder amongst other charges.

Candidates with cases under Prevention of Corruption Act: One candidate has declared that he has cases registered against him under the “Prevention of Corruption Act”, namely Barad Jashabhai Bhanabhai (INC) from Somnath constituency.

GEW also has analyzed affidavits of 482 candidates out of 846 candidates who are contesting in the first phase of the Gujarat 2012 Assembly Elections.  A total of 147 candidates out of 482 analyzed i.e. 30% are crorepatis. In 2007, there were 21% crorepati candidates.

The top three candidates who have declared the highest assets are Rajguru Indranil Sanjaybhai of INC from Rajkot East constituency who has declared assets worth Rs. 122 crores, followed by Chavada Javaharbhai Pethalajibhai, of INC from Manavadar constituency with Rs. 82 crores worth of assets and Parmar Rajabhai Parbatbhai of BSP from Somnath constituency with assets worth Rs. 40 crores

A total of 39 candidates out of 482 analyzed have declared assets less than Rs. 1 Lakh. The three candidates with lowest assets are Mineshbhai Maganbhai Patel of GPP from Valsad constituency who has declared that he has zero assets, followed by Bismilla Abdulkhan Pathan (IND) from Rajkot South constituency with assets worth Rs. 1000 only.

A total of 47 candidates out of 482 analyzed have declared liabilities of Rs. 50 lakhs or above. The top three candidates with highest liabilities are Rajguru Indranil Sanjaybhai, an INC candidate from Rajkot East who has declared the highest liabilities worth Rs. 27.14 Crores followed by Jitendrabhai Kantilal Somani of BJP from Wankaner constituency with liabilities of Rs. 17.69 Crores and Kamabhai Gagjibhai Rathod, a BJP candidate from Sanand constituency with liabilities of Rs. 12.45 Crores.

Among major parties, the average asset per candidate for INC is Rs 6.40 Crores, for BJP is 4.48 Crores, for GPP is 1.07 Crores, for BSP is 75.39 Lakhs, for JD(U) is 22.61 Lakhs, for SP is 19.54 Lakhs, and for NCP is Rs 10.43 Crores.

103 out of 482 (21%) candidates analyzed in the first phase of the Gujarat 2012 Assembly Elections have not declared their PAN details. 6 crorepati candidates have not declared their PAN details. 32 out of 78 candidates of BSP have not declared their PAN, 15 out of 83 candidates of GPP have not declared their PAN and 10 out of 19 of SP have not declared PAN details.

A total of 139 (29%) candidates (out of 482 analyzed) are graduate or with higher educational qualification. Out of 482 contesting candidates analyzed, the number of female candidates is 27 (6%). In 2007 Gujarat Elections the number of female candidates were 46 out of 553, i.e. only 8% for the whole state. A total of 17 candidates out of the total 482 analyzed are more than 65 years of age.

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