The Congress and the BJP have fielded an equal number of candidates facing serious criminal charges, and the JD(S) is not far behind. Of the 432 candidates in the fray in the Lok Sabha polls, 29 candidates are facing serious criminal charges, according to a joint study done by the Association of Democratic Reforms, Karnataka Election Watch and Daksh.
The findings show that BJP and Congress have fielded four candidates each facing serious criminal charges, including attempt to murder, crimes against women and criminal intimidation. JD(S) has fielded three such candidates. The remaining include one each from CPM and BSP and 16 Independent candidates.
On Tuesday, after releasing the findings, based on the affidavits filed by candidates, Vasudev Sharma, state coordinator of Karnataka Election Watch, said out of 432 candidates, 54 are facing criminal charges. Congress has six, BJP nine and JD(S) eight candidates embroiled in criminal cases. The remaining 31 are Independents and from smaller parties.
Harish Narasappa of Daksh said those facing serious charges include former minister B Sriramulu and Sri Ram Sene founder and independent candidate from Bangalore South Pramod Mutalik. Both face charges of attempt to murder. Rajagiri T D, an Independent from Chitradurga, is facing charges of crimes against women. Dr Banuprakash, who is contesting as an Independent from Hassan, faces a case under Section 498 A (dowry).
It is, however, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa who tops the list of candidates with the highest number of criminal cases with nine. He is followed by Mutalik and Sriramulu (8 cases each), Tumkur Independent Brahmananda Reddy and JD(S)’s Kolar candidate K Keshava (7 each) and JD(S)’s Chikkodi candidate Shrimant B Patil (5).