The motto on which the BJP fought and won the Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections — a government free of corruption and criminals — seems to have taken a backseat for the upcoming Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) polls.
According to a survey, the BJP is fielding 28 candidates with criminal offences, while its ally, Shiv Sena is backing 26. Pic for representation
As per a survey on 741 of the 753 candidates in the fray for the municipal polls — conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-political organisation — 121 have criminal cases registered against them. Of these, about 95 candidates have been booked for serious offences like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery and extortion. This information was compiled from the affidavits filed by the candidates.
The survey revealed that the BJP has issued 28 tickets to candidates with criminal backgrounds, making it the topmost party to field tainted contestants. Following closely is its ally, Shiv Sena, which has fronted 26 tainted candidates. MNS, Congress, BSP and NCP also made it to the list.
The survey also revealed the average worth of assets possessed by every candidate from major parties: Rs 3.69 crore for Shiv Sena, Rs 2.46 crore for BJP, Rs 2.30 crore for MNS, Rs 2.13 crore for NCP and Rs 1.4 crore for Congress.
Explaining their choices
Justifying BJP’s choice of candidates, Narendra Pawar, MLA from Kalyan, said, “As we were in opposition, you will find criminal cases lodged against our candidates because they are fighting for the people.”
Pawar’s opinion was seconded by Sena minister Eknath Shinde as he justified his party’s decision of issuing tickets to candidates with criminal backgrounds.
No. of crorepati candidates in the fray for KDMC polls
Candidates whose assets are worth over Rs 100 crore
Candidates with assets worth over Rs 20 crore
No. of candidates surveyed by ADR