Seventeen per cent of the candidates contesting from Maharashtra have criminal records, a study conducted by National Election Watch has revealed.
The study shows that 42 out of the 242 candidates have a criminal background and that there are 29 crorepatis in the fray.
The study conducted on 242 (details of two more were not available) candidates, contesting the elections from 13 constituencies in the first phase, shows that most political parties have fielded candidates with a criminal background.
The study also shows that 165 (68 per cent) candidates have not furnished their PAN card details and the average asset value for the 242 candidates is Rs 102 lakh.
When compared to the previous elections, the assets value has gone up considerably. During the last elections, the average assets value of each neta was Rs 37 lakh -- pointing to an increase of 178 per cent.
In terms of fielding candidates with a criminal background, the BJP leads the pack. Out of the seven, five have a criminal background. The Shiv Sena comes second with four allegedly tainted candidates out of the 6 fielded. The Congress has fielded 8 candidates out of which 4 have a criminal background while the Nationalist Congress Party out of the four candidates has one allegedly tainted candidate.
Out of the 112 independents, there are 11 such candidates.
In terms of wealth the NCP leads the pack with all four netas being crorepati candidates. The Congress comes second with 7 out of the 8 netas being crorepati. The BJP's tally is four out of seven while the Shiv Sena has four out of six.