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'BJP, SP fielded candidates with criminal background'

By Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
February 17, 2009 00:00 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party have fielded eight and six candidates respectively for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh with criminal background, the National Election Watch (NEW) said after studying the affidavits submitted by them.

For the BJP, out of the list of 92 declared candidates, NEW found affidavits for 28 candidates filed in previous elections, out of which it found eight candidates to have criminal background.

For SP, out of the list of 53 declared candidates NEW found records of 24candidates and found that six of them have criminal background.

In a release issued on Monday, NEW said candidates have criminal charges that range from murder, criminal intimidation, wrongful restraint and assault.

Commenting on the list of candidates for UP, I C Dwivedi, former DGP of UP and coordinator of UP chapter of NEW, said, "Every party in UP blames other parties for the law and order problems, but every party keeps on giving tickets to candidates with criminal background. How will the law and order situation improve if there are these candidates sitting in our Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas?

Commenting on the list, Nikhil Dey of MKSS and coordinator of Rajasthan Election Watch said, "During the 2008 vote of confidence, there were six legislators who were brought from jail to vote. During 2007, parliamentary affairs minister P R Dasmunsi had said that there are about 60 legislators in various jails around the country."

Prof Trilochan Sastry, dean of IIM Bangalore and a founder member of ADR and NEW said, "This is the first list that we are coming out with. We have matched the names of the declared candidates with the names in our existing database based on affidavits filed by them in previous elections." 

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru