NEW DELHI: Fourteen percent of the 1,815 candidates contesting the ongoing Gujarat Assembly polls were facing criminal charges, according to a report.
A study of the affidavits submitted by the candidates to the Election Commission showed that of the 253 such nominees, 154 had serious criminal cases such as murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crime against women against them.
The study was carried out by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-governmental organisation which works in the area of electoral and political reforms, and the Gujarat Election Watch.
According to the report, 56 Congress candidates contesting the Gujarat polls had criminal cases against them, while the number of BJP nominees in this category was 46.
Of the 418 "crorepati" candidates, 147 belonged to the BJP, while 129 were fielded by the Congress.
The average worth of assets of the candidates contesting the Gujarat polls was Rs 2.22 crore, the report said, adding that in the 2012 Assembly election in the state, the average worth of assets of the 1,283 candidates was Rs 1.46 crore.
The average worth of assets for the 181 BJP candidates in the fray was Rs 9.04 crore, while the figure was pegged at Rs 9.10 crore for the 176 Congress candidates and at Rs 19.84 lakh for the 138 BSP nominees, according to the report.
It also stated that there were 35 "red alert" constituencies, having three or more candidates with declared criminal cases, of the 182 Assembly segments in the state.
In the 2012 polls, there were 25 of such constituencies in Gujarat.
The first phase of the polls was held on December 9 and the second and final phase will take place on December 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.