It takes a village: The rich, the criminal & the illiterate

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Three candidates in the forthcoming Assembly elections, one from the JD (S) and two from the BSR Congress, are illiterate. According to data released by Karnataka Election Watch (KEW) here on Monday, 16 candidates, including one from the Congress, two from the BJP, and four each from the JD (S) and KJP, are just about literate.

The analysis of 1,052 candidates showed that 40 had passed just the V or VIII standard, 303 candidates were graduates and 166 candidates have graduated in professional courses including medicine and engineering. Four candidates from the Congress have a Ph.D. qualification, said Prof. Trilochan Sastry of KEW. The report says the largest number of candidates contesting the election this year is in the age group of 41-50 years. Most candidates were below the age of 65.

Mr Shastry said that following KEW’s analysis of the substantial increase in the assets of people’s representatives, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has requested the Income Tax department to hold an inquiry.

“Out of the 1,052 affidavits analysed from six major political parties contesting in the assembly elections, 681 (65%) are crorepatis. Some 88% of candidates from the INC (Indian National Congress) are crorepatis followed by BJP with 72% candidates, JD(S) 69%, independent candidates 64%, KJP 58%, BSRC 37% and LSP 35%,” he said.

Of the 1,052 candidates analysed, 220 candidates have declared criminal cases against them and 110 of them are facing serious criminal charges. “55 out of 217 (25%) candidates fielded by the INC have declared criminal cases against them followed by 48 out of 215 (22%) candidates from JD(S), 44 out of 197 (22%) candidates from KJP, 45 out of 218 (21%) from BJP. From the BSRC, 21 out of 171 (12%), have criminal cases against them and two out of 22 (9%) candidates fielded by Loksatta Party also have criminal cases against them,” he said.

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