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UP polls: Phase 4 has most candidates with criminal backgrounds

Congress and SP top list

SP supporters hold party's flags during a public meeting of party president Akhilesh Yadav in Buduan | PTI SP supporters hold party's flags during a public meeting of party president Akhilesh Yadav in Buduan | PTI

The fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has the most number of candidates with criminal backgrounds as compared to the first three phases. 

An analysis of 621 of the 624 candidates in the fray across 59 constituencies has revealed that for this phase the Congress and the Samajwadi Party top the list with 53 per cent candidates having criminal background. Next is the Bahujan Samaj Party with 44 per cent candidates having criminal backgrounds followed by the 40 per cent in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 24 per cent in the Aam Aadmi Party. 

Candidates with serious criminal charges against them feature most in the SP list followed by the Congress, BSP, BJP and AAP. 

There are nine candidates with cases of crimes against women to their names and two of them have been charged with rape. Five have murder cases and 14 have cases of attempt to murder listed against them. 

There are 29 constituencies which fall in the red alert zone. Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. 

An SP candidate from Lucknow, Ravidas Mehrotra has the most number of cases (22) registered against his name. The second place goes to Surendra Kumar from Congress who has has declared nine cases in his affidavit. The third place is also taken up by a candidate from Lucknow- Jalnesh Khan of the BSP, who has five cases to his name. 

Despite all the noise that political parties create about women’s empowerment, only 15 per cent of the candidates in phase four are females. 

More than half of the candidates are aged 41-60, while those in the 61-80 age group form the smallest chunk of candidates. 

The BJP has fielded the most candidates with assets over one crore, followed by the SP and the BSP. 

One candidate of AAP, Vijay Kumar from Khaga (SC) constituency, has declared zero assets in his self-sworn affidavit.

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