Gujarat polls:10% rise in Congress candidates with serious criminal charges

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2017

Campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls is being seen as a litmus test for both ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition Congress. In 2012, 21 candidates from Congress facing criminal charges contested elections.

There has been 10 per cent increase in the number of candidates with criminal background as compared to the party's candidates for the 2012 assembly polls.

The Congress's percentage went from 12 per cent to 22 pc, said the analysis conducted by two NGOs - Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch (GEW).

The comparison was made with BJP who at 13 per cent remained the same as 2012.

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The analysis showed that 101 candidates, accounting for around 12 per cent, were facing criminal cases, including serious charges. "I was never the CM candidate and I will never be the CM candidate in future as well", he said.

This time, out of the total 175 BJP candidates analyzed, 23 candidates are facing charges related to murder, attempt to murder, robbery, abduction and rape. Voting will take place for 89 eighty-nine seats in this phase on Saturday.

Posters appealing Muslims to vote for Congress to make Ahmed Patel the chief minister came up in some minority-dominated areas in Surat on the last day of campaigning for first phase of Gujarat polls, but Patel called it a "dirty trick" by the BJP and said he was not in the race.

On the other hand, addressing professionals and teaching community in Rajkot, former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Dr Manmohan Singh said, BJP is desperately trying to distract people from real issues as the promised Achhe Din are no where to be found.

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