KOLKATA: An average 20 per cent of the candidates in the first phase of West Bengal Assembly polls have criminal cases pending against them.
An analysis of their criminal records by West Bengal Election Watch from their affidavits show that in the first part of the first phase 16 per cent candidates have declared criminal cases against them.
Out of them, 17 candidates have serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, crimes against women, etc.
First part of Phase 1 of elections will be held on April 4 where 133 contesters are trying their luck.
In the second part of the first phase on April 11, 163 candidates are contesting out of which 23 per cent (37 candidates) have criminal charges against them, the report said.
Altogether 20 per cent candidates have criminal cases in the entire phase.
The report said it has been noticed with concern that across all parties there are candidates with criminal cases.
In five constituencies of Salboni, Purulia, Jamuria, Pandabeswar, Indus and Kulti have three or more candidates each with such questionable records.
The districts of Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan and West Midnapore are included in the first phase.
The average assets of all candidates in the first phase is Rs 48 lakh.
Out of 296 candidates, 23 (8 per cent) are 'crorepatis'.