8 percent Tripura candidates face criminal charges: Report

Agartala, Feb 4 (IANS) The number of candidates contesting the Feb 14 polls who have criminal charges filed against them has increased to eight percent, from three percent in the last assembly elections in the state in 2008, a report published Monday said.

Tripura Election Watch (TEW), state chapter of the non-profit National Election Watch (NEW), also noted that six percent (16) candidates are crorepatis (people whose wealth exceeds Rs.one crore) this time, against two percent (7) in 2008.

The report said the number of women candidates is six percent (15) this time, out of the total 249 candidates -- in 2008, women comprised nine percent (31) of the total 313 candidates.

"Of the 16 crorepati candidates, 12 are from the Congress, there are two independents and one each from CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) who have declared assets ranging from Rs.10 million (one crore) to Rs.90 million," NEW programme coordinator Mashqura Fareedi told reporters.

"There are criminal cases against 27 percent of the 48 Congress candidates, followed by two percent of the 50 BJP contestants, and two percent of 55 CPI-M contenders," Fareedi said.

"The increase rate of crorepati candidates and aspirants with criminal charges in Tripura exceeds the national average," Fareedi said.

Of the 249 aspirants of different parties, 19 candidates (8 percent) have been charged with murder, rape, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation, cheating, forgery and violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.

Congress candidate Chandi Charan Tripura, contesting from Manu assembly segment, reserved for tribals, in southern Tripura, has cases registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the report, 94 of the 249 candidates (38 percent) are graduates or have higher degrees, while 14 candidates have not even completed schooling.

The report also said that 51 CPI-M candidates (93 percent) and 46 BJP nominees (92 percent) had never filed income tax returns.

There are 15 candidates of different political parties who are more than 65 years of age in the fray this time.

The TEW, a platform of academics, journalists, social activities, intellectuals, NGOs and retired officials, published the 51-page report of the candidates' profile based on affidavits filed along with their nomination papers.

Since December 2002, the NEW and ADR (Association of Democratic Reforms) in association with other non-political bodies have been publishing such candidate profile reports ahead of all state assembly and Lok Sabha elections in India.

The group also published the financial position of candidates contesting the polls.

"Following the Supreme Court judgments of May 2, 2002 and March 13, 2003, it is the citizen's fundamental right to know the background of candidates before casting their valuable votes," said Biswendu Bhattacharjee, coordinator of ADR and TEW.

The ADR, a national body working for improving democracy and governance in India since 1999, helped TEW compile the report.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

McCullum's lightning fifty propels Chennai after Dhoni elects to bat at Abu Dhabi. More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »