Monday, April 09, 2007

UP Election Watch:Crime and politics

Summary Note
UP Election Watch

Embirgo:12:00 Noon,9April 2007


The second phase of UP Assembly Elections 2007 covers 58 constituencies of the western part of the state. The 10 districts in which these 58 constituencies (14.39% of total number of constituencies) fall have a total population of 2,43,53,559 (14.62% of the state’s total population) according to the 2001 census. The most populous constituency in the state, Ghaziabad (const # 373), with an estimated electorate of 7.61 lakhs, goes to polls in this phase. There were 862 candidates in the fray in phase II, with 384 Independents, 179 belonging to minor political parties and 279 belonging to major political parties. The average number of candidates contesting per constituency is 14.86, much higher than the average for the 2002 Assembly and 2004 Parliamentary elections in the state. The UP election watch took into consideration 792 candidates leaving out some independents whose affidavits were either blank or badly scanned.

Summary of findings:
There are 30 women candidates out of the 792 taken into account, merely 3.78%. BSP, a party headed by a woman, has not fielded a single woman as candidate in this phase.
The sex ratio in these 10 Districts are the worst in the country. In an era of demand for progressive legislation to secure women’s participation in governance, this is an unfortunate indicator.
Out of 792 candidates, 102 have pending criminal cases against them.
BSP leads the list of such candidates with 18 out of 58 (31.03%), followed by BJP, 14 out of 57 (24.56%), RLD, 11 out of 51 (22%), SP, 12 out of 56 (21.43%) and INC, 9 out of 57 (16.07%).
If we consider the combined percentage of candidates fielded by main political parties, in phase 1 and 2, BSP leads the pack with 33.33%, followed by BJP—27.03%, SP—26.50%, and INC—20.17% This brings the overall percentage of such candidates fielded by main parties to 25.65%, that is, one in four candidates put up by major political parties has pending criminal cases against him/her.
There are 14 candidates who were members of the previous Assembly and according to the affidavit submitted by the UP Home Secretary to the High Court, had pending criminal cases against them. Among the major parties BJP and BSP account for 3 each and RLD and SP for 2 each of such candidates. Apart from one BJP and one BSP candidate, the rest have stated figures in their current affidavits, which are different from the UP Govt.’s affidavit figures. There are 5 candidates in this list who have declared that they have no pending criminal cases, but according to the Govt affidavit have serious cases pending against them. RLD, SP, and BJP account for one each in this category.
The top ten list of candidates, arranged according to number of cases, is headed by Amar Singh Yadav of BSP, contesting from Sikandra Rao (354), with 11 pending criminal cases. BSP has 4 candidates who have made it to this list.
According to the Govt affidavit, Madan Bhaiya of RLD, contesting from Khekra (384) has 59 pending criminal cases against him, followed by Rajpal Singh Saini of BSP (Morna-391) with 26 cases and Ramvir Upadhyay (Hathras-352), of the same party with 12 pending cases.
There are six constituencies, which have 4 or more candidates with pending criminal cases. These are, Gangari (355) 6, Sikandarabad (370) 5, Mathura (347) 4, Hathras (352) 4, Morna (391) 4, and Thana Bhawan (396) 4. The high number of candidates with criminal cases pending constrains the Voter’s choice. But it is the voter who has to find a way out.
A note of caution for the voter. UP leads the list of parliamentarians with pending criminal cases (21 out of 80) in the country. UP also leads in the statistics of murder and violent crimes committed in the country in the past year. The 10 Districts going to polls in the second phase account for about 30% of such crimes with 14.62% of the state’s total population. During the assembly elections in 2002, there were 506 candidates in the fray, with pending criminal cases against them. Out of these, 206 became MLAs. This means 51.11% of the previous assembly members, that is, every second member in that house, had pending criminal cases against him or her.
There are 126 candidates (15.91%) who have declared assets worth more than a crore.
Among the major parties, BSP has 29/58(50%), RLD, 20/51(39.22%) BJP, 20/57(35.09%), SP, 19/56 (33.93%), and INC, 12/57 (21.05%) candidates who are Crorepatis.
In the top ten list, arranged according to declared total wealth, 3 SP, 2 each from BSP and BJP, and one each from INC, RLD and BKD candidates make the cut.
The average assets of a main party candidate has gone up sizably this time round. The list is topped by SP with an average declared asset worth Rs 1.64 Crores, followed by, BSP, Rs. 1.36 Crores, BJP, Rs.1.15 Crores, RLD, Rs. 1.12 Crores, and INC, Rs. 0.97 Crores.
The role of money power in the electoral arena is very distinct. This makes the contest uneven.
The top ten list of high liabilities is headed by the INC candidate from Muzaffarnagar (392), Saiduzzaman. Interestingly, though his loans are more than Rs.2 crores, he does not possess PAN.
In this phase the average liability of a party candidate makes interesting reading. Among the major political parties, INC heads the group with an average liability of Rs 9.44 lakhs, followed by SP, Rs 6.57 Lakhs, BJP, 6.45 Lakhs, RLD, 4.57 Lakhs, and BSP, Rs 4.57 lakhs.
There are 509 candidates out of 792 (64.27%) who do not have PAN.
Among the major political parties, RLD has 45.10% candidates, INC, 42.11%, BJP, 40.35%, SP, 37.50%, and BSP, 36.21% candidates who do not have PAN.
Interestingly, when we look at the list of candidates who have declared assets worth more than a crore, we find that, 10 BSP candidates, 5 each from SP and RLD, 3 BJP, 2 INC and 1 Janmorcha candidate do not have PAN.
Similarly, when we look at the list of candidates with high liabilities, 4 BSP, 2 each from BJP and INC, and 1 each from RLD and SP do not possess PAN.
When we look at the educational; profile of candidates, we see that there is a marked increase among major political parties in putting up candidates who are highly educated. BJP leads the list with 68.42%, followed by INC, 59.65%, SP, 50%, and BSP, 44.83% candidates who are graduates and above.
Similarly, there is a marked preference by main political parties for candidates who are younger. Almost 90% candidates belonging to main political parties are below 60 years of age. And the bulk belongs to the category between 41-60.

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 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, .

9 April 2007.