Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Which party has candidates with most criminal cases? Check details here

According to the election watchdog ADR, out of the 8,337 candidates in Lok Sabha Elections 2024, 20 percent have declared criminal cases against themselves. About 14 percent have declared serious criminal cases including charges related to rape, murder, attempt to murder and crimes against women.

Gulam Jeelani
Updated29 May 2024
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: People stand in queue to cast their votes outside a polling booth during the fifth round of multi-phase national elections in Sumbal north of Srinagar on Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: People stand in queue to cast their votes outside a polling booth during the fifth round of multi-phase national elections in Sumbal north of Srinagar on Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)(AP)

As many as 8,360 candidates are contesting in the Lok Sabha 2024 elections in seven phases. The last round of polls is scheduled to be held for 57 parliamentary seats on June 1. The election results will be declared on June 4.

Election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 8,337 of the 8,360 candidates in these general elections. Of these, 1,333 candidates are from national parties, 532 from state parties, 2,580 from registered unrecognised parties, and 3,915 candidates are contesting independently.

Also Read: Lok Sabha elections 2024 Phase 7: Last day of voting on June 1; full list of constituencies and key candidates here

There are 751 political parties contesting in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. In the 2019 general elections, 677 political parties contested, 464 political parties contested in 2014, and 368 parties in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. This means that there has been an increase of 104 percent in the number of political parties from 2009 to 2024, according to the ADR.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: About 1,191 (14 percent) candidates contesting in Lok Sabha Elections 2024 have declared serious criminal cases including charges related to rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.

Here is what the analysis revealed about the criminal background of candidates who contested the Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Candidates with declared criminal cases

Of the 8,337 candidates in Lok Sabha Elections 2024 analysed by ADR, 1,643 (20 percent) have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Out of the 7,928 candidates in the Lok Sabha Election in 2019, as many as 1,500 (19 percent) had declared criminal cases against themselves. Out of 8,205 candidates analysed during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, at least 1,404 (17 percent) candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves. Of the 7,810 candidates analysed during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, 1,158 (15 percent) candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves, according to the ADR.

Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases

About 1,191 (14 percent) candidates contesting in Lok Sabha Elections 2024 have declared serious criminal cases, including charges related to rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.

The ADR analysis has revealed that of the 7,928 candidates analysed during Lok Sabha elections in 2019, 1,070 (13 percent) had declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Of the 8,205 candidates in the 2014 general elections, 908 (11 percent) had declared serious criminal cases. Of the 7,810 candidates in the 2009 general elections, 608 (8 percent) had declared serious criminal cases.

Also Read: J-K records highest voter turnout in 35 years, says Election Commission

Party Wise Criminal Background

At least 197 candidates have cases related to crime against women, the analysis said. Out of these, 16 candidates have charges related to rape (IPC Section-376) and whoever commits rape repeatedly on the same woman (IPC Section-376(2)(n)).

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: At least 197 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women, the ADR analysis said.

Among parties, 191 (43 percent) out of 440 candidates from the Bharatiya Janata Party, 143 (44 percent) out of 327 candidates from the Congress, 63 (13 percent) out of 487 candidates from BSP, 33(63 percent) out of 52 candidates fielded by CPI (M) and 550 (14 percent) out of 3,903 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, the ADR report said.

The Rules

Indian law doesn't bar citizens with criminal backgrounds from contesting elections unless convicted. Even for convicted politicians, the disqualification is at most six years post the expiry of the jail term.

According to the existing laws, if a person is convicted and sentenced to at least two years in jail, he/she is disqualified automatically from contesting elections for six years from the date of release. 

This rule is mentioned in Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act-1951, which deals with the disqualification of politicians from assembly and Parliament after being convicted.

Also Read: Can a person behind bars contest polls in India? What does the law say?

“A person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years other than any offence referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release," reads the Section 8(3) in the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Sworn Affidavits

However, it is mandatory for political parties at the Lok Sabha and Assembly election levels to upload detailed information on their websites regarding candidates with pending criminal cases, including the nature of the offences, relevant particulars like whether charges have been framed, the concerned Court, the case number, etc.

The polling for the sixth phase of 486 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats ended on May 25. The BJP-led NDA is seeking a record third term. The Opposition parties led by the Congress are challenging the ruling alliance under the banner of the INDIA bloc.

 

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