New Delhi: Of the 2,654 candidates contesting the assembly elections in Karnataka, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases registered against them, revealed a study by the Karnataka Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
"The average assets of the 883 (35 per cent) crorepati candidates are worth Rs 7.54 crore. Of the 645 contestants, 254 (10 per cent) face serious criminal cases and 391 (15 per cent) face criminal cases," said the two watchdogs after analysing the candidates' affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Of the 225-member lower house, including one nominated, election to the Jayanagar seat in the capital has been countermanded due to the death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.
Affidavits of 95 candidates belonging to national, regional, local parties however could not be analysed, as their affidavits were badly scanned or were incomplete on the websites of the poll panel and the Chief Electoral Officer of the southern state, reported IANS.
Ninty three percent (208 candidates) of the 223 BJP candidates in fray have declared assets worth over Rs 1 crore, the highest number among all the parties contesting.
A total of 207 (94 per cent) of the 220 candidates from the ruling Congress, 154 (77 per cent) of the 199 candidates from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and 199 (18 per cent) of the 1,090 Independents have declared assets more than Rs 1 crore.
The BJP candidates were found to have the highest number of criminal cases registered against them, with 83 (37 per cent) candidates having criminal cases against them. Twenty six percent or 58 of these candidates face serious criminal cases against them, including murder.
Of the 220 candidates analysed from the ruling Congress, a total of 59 (27 per cent) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, while 32 (15 per cent) have serious criminal cases against them.
Forty one (21 per cent) of the 199 JD-S candidates analysed have criminal cases, and 29 (15 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases in their poll affidavits, the study said.
Of the total 1,090 Independents analysed, 108 (10 per cent) have declared criminal cases against themselves, and 70 (6 per cent) are accused of serious criminal charges.
The richest candidates in fray belong to the ruling Congress -- Priyakrishna, from Govindarajanagar constituency with Rs 1,020 crore worth total assets, N. Nagaraju from Hosakote Assembly seat with assets valued at Rs 1,015 crore and the state Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar from Kanakapura segment with Rs 840 crore assets.
Polling will be held in a single phase on May 12 for the 223 constituencies, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for Scheduled Tribes.
The votes will be counted on May 15.
(with inputs from IANS)