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Rajasthan Polls
Candidates rely on money, muscle power
‘Over 10 per cent have criminal record’
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, May 1
A look at the backdrop of the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan suggests that one needs to have either money or muscle power, or better still both, to be in politics today.

According to a report released by Rajasthan Election Watch, a wing of National Election Watch, over 10 per cent candidates in the poll fray have a criminal record. The report says 37 out of the 346 candidates have criminal cases registered against them. These include 22 Independents, two each of the Congress, the BJP and the CPM. Of these, 12 candidates are charged with heinous crimes like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and extortion. Among them Independents are the highest at seven, followed by the CPM with two, the BJP and the BSP with one each. The Lok Janshakti Party candidate from the Jhunjhunu Lok Sabha constituency, Ranvir Singh Gudha, has the maximum 22 cases registered against him, out of which 16 are of a serious nature.

There are 56 crorepatis in the election fray. Here, too, Independents top the list with 16, followed by the Congress with 15, the BJP with 12, and the BSP with eight. Out of these, seven candidates have net assets over Rs 10 crore, while 10 have declared their assets between Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore.

According to the report, the average assets of candidates of different parties are: Congress (Rs 3 crore), BJP (Rs 2 crore), followed by BSP and LJP with Rs 1 crore each. The number of crorepatis in Congress and BJP list is significant in view of the fact that the state has 25 LS seats.

While there are a number of lakhpati candidates as well, there are also a few in the fray with nil assets. These are Mohammad Rafiq, an Independent from the Jhalawar-Baran Lok Sabha seat, and Jagdish, the Bharatiya Bahujan Party candidate from Alwar.

Interestingly, the report also reveals that 59 per cent of the candidates have failed to furnish their PAN card details.

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