As many as 101 candidates in Punjab are facing various criminal cases, including that of murder and attempt to murder, poll watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said.
Besides, out of total 1,145 candidates in the fray, 428 are having assets of more than Rs 1 crore, with average assets per candidate being worked out at Rs 3.49 crore.
According to the analysis of candidates’ affidavits by ADR, 101 out of 1,145 candidates have declared criminal cases against them.
Of them, 78 candidates are facing serious criminal charges including that of murder, attempt to murder and crime against women, said Jagdeep Chhokar, founding member of ADR.
Prominent among those who are facing criminal charges are Navjot Singh Sidhu, Captain Amarinder Singh, Simarjeet Singh Bains, he said.
53-year-old Sidhu, Congress candidate from Amritsar East, declared in his affidavit that on December 27, 1988 a case under section 302, 323, 34 of IPC was registered against him.
He was acquitted in the case by the Session Court Patiala on September 22, 1999.
But the Punjab and Haryana High Court convicted him on December 6, 2006 sentencing him to three years’ rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 1 lakh. But the Supreme Court suspended the sentence on January 23, 2007.
Congress’ chief ministerial candidate Amarinder Singh, who is contesting from Lambi and Patiala, is facing four cases, as per the report prepared by ADR.
Lok Insaf Party candidate Simarjeet Bains is facing case under relevant sections of IPC including 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (charges related to voluntary causing hurt to deter servant from his duty).
As per report prepared by ADR, 14 candidates of Congress, 12 of AAP, 10 of SAD and 2 of BJP and 20 out of 304 Independents were facing criminal charges, said Chhokar.
The report also said that a whopping 688 out of total 1,145 contestants, have declared their educational qualification between 5th standard and 12th standard while 41 candidates are illiterate.
Despite political parties stressing upon giving more nominations to women in polls, 81 (7 per cent) women out of 1,145 candidates are contesting Punjab Assembly polls, as per the report.
As per the report, 87 candidates of SAD are ‘crorepatis’, while 103 candidates of Congress, 20 of BJP and 71 of AAP have declared their assets worth over Rs 1 crore.
Among major parties, the average assets per candidate was Rs 12.38 crore for Congress, Rs 6.10 crore for BJP, Rs 6.24 crore for AAP and Rs 9.26 crore for SAD, as per report prepared by ADR.
Despite several ‘crorepati’ candidates, there are seven candidates who have declared zero assets in their affidavits, as per the report.
There are three candidates Satish Kumar (Kapurthala), Tarsem Singh (Sanour), Alwinder Singh (Muktsar) have declared Rs 2,000, Rs 2,400 and Rs 5,500 as total assets, respectively.
A total of 221 candidates have not declared their PAN numbers while 471 candidates have not declared income tax details, as per the report.
Among prominent candidates who have declared highest liabilities are Rana Gurjit Singh from Kapurthala (Rs 81.71 crore) and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal from Jalalabad (Rs 39 crore), it said.