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Indian voters are an unlucky lot. Clean candidates are hard to come by, and it’s not getting any easier, shows a Mint analysis of long-term election affidavits data. In the last 15 years, over 26% of the candidates of the top parties in state-level polls had declared criminal cases against them. Since 2018, this share has been one-in-three, with independent candidates and small parties being the only saving grace. 

If you are a voter looking for blotless options, you will be the most frustrated if you live in Kerala, Bihar or Jharkhand, while the Northeastern states give you the best options. But everywhere and in every poll, candidates facing criminal charges are more successful in reaching the state Assembly since they likely belong to larger parties that are more prone to vendetta-related bogus cases. 

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This is the first of a two-part series based on a comprehensive analysis of data compiled by MyNeta.info, a data platform run by Association for Democratic Reforms, which pores over the affidavits submitted by candidates while filing nominations. We covered 90 state polls since 2008—this covers three rounds of elections in each state. In the second part tomorrow, we will look at the assets possessed by candidates and their educational qualifications.

crime brings good luck
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crime brings good luck

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanay Sukumar

Tanay leads Mint's data journalism team. His role involves editing and overseeing the newspaper's diverse data offerings, ranging from deep analytical pieces to bite-sized social media charts.
Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
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