The fourth phase of UP Assembly Elections is taking place in 57 constituencies. UP Election Watch has taken into consideration 922 candidates. There are 255 candidates put up by major political parties, 252 candidates by smaller parties and 415 candidates are independents. The average candidate per constituency works out to be 16.17. Till the fourth phase the UP election watch has analyzed 3368 candidates' background through their affidavits and has been able to disseminate the information among voters.
Summary of findings:
There are in all 63 women candidates (6.83%) in the fray in the fourth phase. INC and BJP lead among the parties with 14.2% and 13.4% women candidates respectively.
There are 116 candidates who have pending criminal cases against them.
Among the major political parties SP has 27 out of 57 (47.36%), BJP, 16 out of 52 (30.76%) INC, 15 out of 56 (26.78%) BSP, 12 out of 57 (21.05%), and RLD 6 out of 33 (18.18%) such candidates in the fray. There are 24 candidates with pending cases among the smaller political parties and the independents.
If we look at the combined figures for candidates with pending cases of the main political parties, SP leads the table with 33.91%, BSP—29.49%, BJP—28.50%, INC—22.51% and RLD—17.83%. Whereas the BSP led this category in the first and second phases, the SP has taken a sound lead over others in the third and fourth phases. This is significant because, it shows the level of dependence of political parties on such candidates and their belief that having pending criminal cases adds to the winnability factor of such candidates.
There are 24 candidates who, according to the affidavit submitted by the UP Government to the High Court, have pending criminal cases against them and were members of the outgoing assembly. In this list the INC, BSP and BJP have 1,1,and 3 candidates respectively, where as the rest, 19 candidates belong to the SP.
There are 9 constituencies, which have more than 4 candidates who have pending criminal cases against them.
There are 45 candidates who have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 Crore.
SP leads the list with 12, BSP, 9, BJP, 7, and INC, 6. Till the fourth phase more than 26% candidates belonging to SP and BSP have declared their assets as worth more than a Crore. Till the fourth phase there are 305 candidates who have declared assets worth more than one Crore.
Ajay Pratap Singh of INC (Colonelganj—147) is the richest candidate in this phase with 31.86 crores worth of declared assets. He also has the distinction of being the candidate with highest liability. The INC had also fielded the richest candidate in the third phase. Interestingly, among the top 10 richest candidates list, while the BJP, SP and INC have 1,1 and 2 candidates respectively, BSP has 4 candidates who have made it to this category.
The average candidate asset list is led by INC with 0.92 Crores, BSP,0.74 Crores, SP,0.63 Crores, BJP,0.45 Crores and RLD, 0.18 Crores.
The encouraging trend is that among all the main parties there is a consistent trend to field candidates who are in the age group of 41-60 yrs and are either graduates or above in terms of education. In both the segments it is above 60%.
735 candidates out of 922 (79.72%) candidates do NOT have PAN.
There are 14 candidates who have declared NIL assets. Among these there is one candidate belonging to a major political party (Kalpnath Sonkar, BJP, Nagar East, const no.151)
The UP Election Watch is a non-partisan civil society alliance for clean politics and accountable governance. Collection of affidavits, collation of information contained there in, and dissemination among voters of this information before the voting day are voluntary civil society efforts. This is intended to enable the voter to make an informed and responsible choice while casting their votes. It is to be remembered that in a democracy there is no position higher than that of the CITIZEN.
The UPEW, along with 200 CBOs/NGOs created a network of citizens across the state for this purpose.
The process has been initiated in the state by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) which is engaged in strengthening democracy in the country through political and electoral reforms.
A high level committee of concerned eminent citizens of UP has been formed to lead this process. This committee is convened by Sri I.C. Dwivedi, Retd DGP.
People's Vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has become the coordinating body of the whole process. PVCHR has been involved with the cause of torture, hunger, malnutrition, education, health and governance for the most marginalized and voiceless section of Indian society
The data has been culled from the affidavits submitted by candidates along with their nomination papers. We have tried our best to be accurate and non-partisan in presenting the data. In case of doubt, please consult the Election Commission's website, www.eci.gov.in .
DR. Lenin Bibhu Mohapatra
19 April 2007