Out of 375 candidates analyzed, 21 (6 per cent) candidates in Meghalaya have declared criminal cases against themselves, states the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report.
In 2018 Meghalaya Assembly elections, out of 370 candidates analysed, 25 (7 per cent) had declared criminal cases against themselves. Comparatively, 2023 Assembly elections will witness a drop in number of candidates with criminal backgrounds by 1 per cent.
The ADR report also suggests 4 per cent (15) candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Notably, 2018 Meghalaya Assembly elections saw 6 per cent (21) candidates with serious criminal cases against themselves.
Among the major parties to have maximum number of candidates with declared criminal cases against them, 5 (8 per cent) out of 60 candidates analysed from INC, 6 (11 per cent) out of 57 candidates analysed from NPP, 1 (2 per cent) out of 60 candidates analysed from BJP and 3 (5 per cent) out of 56 candidates analysed from AITC, as per the ADR report.
Going by the party wise candidates with serious criminal cases, INC emerge as the party with the highest number of candidates with 4 (7 percent) out 60 candidates, 4 (7 per cent) out of 57 candidates analysed from NPP, 1 (2 per cent) out of 60 candidates analysed from BJP and 2 ( 4 per cent) out of 56 candidates analysed from AITC have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
The ADR report further breaks down the bracket of candidates with serious offences filed against them in which 2 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302), 3 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves, 5 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Out of 5 candidates 1 candidate has declared case related to rape (IPC Section-376) and 1 candidate has declared case related to person committing rape repeatedly on the same woman (IPC Section-376(2)(n)).
Despite directions of the Supreme Court, parties have no budged from selecting candidates in the Meghalaya Assembly elections 2023 as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 6 per cent candidates with criminal cases.
All major parties contesting in Meghalaya elections have given tickets to 2 per cent to 50 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The Supreme Court in its directions dated February 13, 2020 had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
As per these mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selection has to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned.
Also read : Tripura: 9 BJP, 13 CPI(M) candidates out of 41 with criminal background files nomination, says ADR report
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