Kolkata: A whopping fourteen candidates out of a total 68 candidates, who are contesting in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, have declared criminal cases against them.
Among the 14 people, there are 12 people who have been charged with serious criminal charges like more than five years imprisonment, or incompetent bail, allegations related to elections, theft, murder, wound, kidnappings, corruption or crimes committed against women. Such sensational information has been reported by the West Bengal Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
West Bengal election watch State Co-ordinator, Ujjwani Halim said, “11 in Beharampur, 11 in Krishnanagar, 7 in Ranaghat, 7 from Burdwan, 6 in Durgapur, 10 in Asansol, 9 from Bolpur and 9 in Birbhum, 9 candidates have declared serious criminal cases against them.
There are four BJP candidates who are accused of criminal offenses. A Congress candidate is also charged with serious criminal case. One of the Trinamool Congress candidates has serious criminal charges. Six of the seven CPM candidates have criminal charges against them.
Earlier, Election Commission has made it clear that candidates will have to bear the cost of advertising their criminal antecedents in TV and newspapers as it comes in the category of ‘poll expenses’.The poll panel has made it compulsory for candidates contesting elections to advertise their criminal antecedents in TV and newspapers at least thrice during electioneering. Though directions in this regard were issued on October 10, 2018, the rule is being used for the first time in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.