LS polls: Only 12 pc of candidates in fray in phase 5 are women, says ADR

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New Delhi, May 12 (PTI) The representation of women in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls continues to remain dismally low, as only about 12 per cent of the candidates in the fray in the fifth phase are female, according to an analysis by poll rights body ADR.


The ADR analysis also showed that nearly 23 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves and about 18 per cent have serious criminal cases pending.

Out of the total 695 candidates in the fifth phase on May 20, only 82 of them are women, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.

In the first phase of the elections, 135 (8 per cent) female candidates contested while 100 (8 per cent) women candidates fought in the second phase. Similarly, in the third phase of the elections, 123 (9 per cent) female candidates contested while in the fourth phase, as many as 170 (10 per cent) such candidates are in the fray.


Out of the 695 candidates under scrutiny in the fifth phase, 18 per cent (122 candidates) have serious criminal cases pending, including that of murder, attempt to murder, crimes against women, and hate speech. Three candidates have declared convictions against them.

The ADR and National Election Watch analysed self-sworn affidavits filed by the candidates contesting in the phase five to get their criminal backgrounds, financial profiles, education, and gender.

The report also gave a party-wise break-up of criminal cases.


Among the major parties, two (50 per cent) out of four candidates from AIMIM, four (40 per cent) out of 10 candidates from SP, seven (39 per cent) out of 18 candidates from the Congress, two (33 per cent) out of six candidates from Shiv Sena, 12 (30 per cent) out of 40 candidates from BJP, two (29 per cent) out of seven candidates from TMC, one (25 per cent) out of four candidates from the RJD and one (13 per cent) out of eight candidates from Shiv Sena (UBT) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

According to the ADR report, 29 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women.

Out of 29 candidates, one has declared charge related to rape (IPC Section 376) and 10 have declared cases related to hate speech against themselves.


A notable 33 per cent of the candidates are 'crorepatis' (those with assets exceeding Rs 1 crore). The average asset per candidate stood at Rs 3.56 crore.

The top three candidates with the highest assets have declared values ranging from Rs 110 crore to Rs 212 crore.

Moreover, 47 per cent of the candidates have declared liabilities, with some having high debt burdens amounting to tens of crores of rupees.


However, the educational qualifications of candidates raise concerns, with 42 per cent having qualifications between 5th and 12th standard, and only 50 per cent being graduates or above.

Additionally, 26 candidates are diploma holders, 20 are just literate, and five are illiterate, the ADR said.

In response to these findings, the ADR has put forward a series of recommendations to address the issue of criminalisation in politics, including permanent disqualification of candidates convicted of serious crimes, cancellation of tax exemptions for parties fielding tainted candidates, and parties being brought under the Right to Information Act. PTI UZM KVK KVK