As many as 142 winning candidates (49 percent) from Indian state West Bengal have a criminal charge against them, according to a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Wednesday.
ADR is an NGO that is focused on India's electoral and political reform. ADR analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all the 292 winning candidates from the state’s assembly elections.
The report says almost 51 percent (39 members) of the BJP, and 34 percent (73 members) of Trinamool Congress (TMC) winning candidates have admitted serious criminal charges about themselves. The remaining 20 winning candidates are not facing serious charges (bailable offence), most of the cases against them being related to a property dispute, contempt and defamation.
“However, the serious criminal cases include being related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, etc,” the ADR report added.
“Of these, 10 elected assembly members are facing murder charges, and 30 have cases related to attempted murder. Furthermore, 20 winning candidates have declared that they have faced cases related to crimes against women and of them, one winning candidate has a rape charge against him,” it added.
The assembly election in the state was held in eight phases between 27 March and 29 April. Banerjee won the election and on Wednesday she was sworn in as the only female state chief in the country.