This Lok Sabha election has seen a major jump in the number of 'crorepati' candidates from the 2009 poll, at more than 950, while there has also been a rise in the number of candidates with criminal records, according to National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
According to NEW and ADR that are working for poll reforms, of the 8,163 candidates analysed for the 2014 election, 2,208 (27 percent) are crorepatis (millionaires). In 2009, of the 7,810 candidates analysed, 1,249 (16 percent) candidates were crorepatis, the two organisations said in a press release.
Of candidates with criminal cases, it says of the 8,163 candidates, 1,398 or 17 percent, have declared criminal cases against themselves. In the 2009 poll, of the 7,810 candidates, 1,158 or 15 percent had declared criminal cases against themselves.
Party-wise breakup of candidates with declared assets of more than Rs.1 crore: The Congress has the highest number of 365 (79 percent) crorepati candidates out of 462 candidates. The next is the Bharatiya Janata Party with 309 (73 percent) out of 426 candidates; 192 (45 percent) out of 427 candidates in Aam Aadmi Party, 161 (32 percent) out of 501 candidates in Bahujan Samaj Party and 342 (11 percent) out of 3,182 Independent candidates.
The Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) former chief Nandan Nilekani of the Congress tops in the list of assets. The candidate from Bangalore South in Karnataka has declared assets of Rs.7,710 crore.
Shamali Das, an Independent candidate from Jadavpur and Kolkata South constituencies, is next with declared assets of Rs.2,000 crore.
In the category of candidates with serious criminal cases, it says 889 (11 percent) candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc. Of 7,810 candidates analysed in 2009, 608 (8 percent) had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
As many as 57 candidates have declared cases related to murder. Of these, 12 have been fielded by BSP, four by the BJP, three each by the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist and Samajwadi Party, three each by Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal-United, one candidate each by the Congress, AAP, Trinamool Congress and CPI-M and 12 independent candidates.
The two bodies have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 8,163 candidates out of the 8,230 candidates contesting the 2014 election. The rest of the candidates were not analysed due to unclear/incomplete affidavits uploaded on the Election Commission of India website at the time of making of this report, it said.