Jharkhand Assembly elections: JVM (P) has highest candidates with criminal charges

BJP has most number of ‘crorepati’ candidates

candidates with criminal charges

The preparations for the Jharkhand Assembly elections are in full swing. The polls are to be held in five phases from November 30 to December 20 and candidates are now leaving no stone unturned in their campaigns. With less than a week to go, we analyze the records of these candidates on four parameters – criminal cases, financial details, educational background and gender; and what they mean for the future of Jharkhand.

Criminal Charges

Nearly 189 candidates are contesting in the first phase of the elections where voters in 13 of the 81 Assembly seats will go to poll.

Out of these 189 candidates, forty-four (23%) have criminal charges against them, according to the affidavits analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

26 of these candidates (14%) have declared ‘serious’ criminal cases against themselves. These include cases of murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and extortion. Among the major parties, the Jharkhand VikasMorcha (Prajatantrik) – JVM (P) has the highest number of candidates that face criminal charges, standing at six candidates or 46%.

The Congress has four out of its six (67%) have criminal cases to their name, while five (42%) out of 12 candidates of the Janata Dal United (JD-U) are facing criminal charges. In the BJP, four (33%) of the 12 candidates have declared criminal cases in their name.

Among the 44 candidates with criminal cases, 26 (or 14%) are facing serious criminal charges. The Congress and the JVM(P) have three candidates each with serious criminal charges, while the JD(U) and the BJP have four such candidates each.  Owing to the number of candidates with criminal charges, seven of the 13 constituencies in the first phase have been declared as red alert constituencies for they have three or more contesting candidates with criminal charges against them.

Shashi Bhushan Mehta of the BJP who is accused of killing a staffer at the Oxford Public School where he was a Director, is facing three charges related to bribery, 2 related to voluntarily causing grievous hurt, 2 related to murder, 1 related to causing disappearance of evidence and giving false information and 1 related to criminal intimidation among others.

Krishna NandTripathi is facing 1 charge related to statements conducing to public mischief, 1 related to wrongful confinement and 1 related to intentional insult with intent to provoke the breach of peace among others.

These two are also candidates with the highest assets in their name.

Among women candidates, apart Sudha Chaudhary facing criminal charges,Shakuntala Devi is accused of buying or disposing of any person as a slave and charges related to voluntarily causing hurt.

RekhaChoubey is accused to criminal intimidation, threat of injury to public servant, wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt and intentional insult with intent to provoke the breach of peace among others.


59 or 31% of the total number of candidates in the first phase are ‘crorepatis’, ironically in of the poorest states of the country.

The candidates with the highest assets are Krishna NandTripathi from the INC standing from Palamu, RameshwarOraon from the INC again standing from Lohardaga and Kushwaha Shashi Bhushan Mehta (with 11 criminal charges) from the BJP standing from Palama, with total assets worth more than 53 crore, 28 crore and 27 crore respectively.

9 (75%) of the 12 analyzed candidates analyzed are crorepatis belonging to the BJP, trailed by the JVM (P) with 7 (54%) out of 13 candidates having assets worth crores.

The top three candidates with the lowest assets are Ekabal Singh from CPI (ML) Red Star with assets worth a little over Rs. 10,000; Pradeep Oraon from JD (U) with assets worth Rs. 17,000 plus; and Anuj Kumar Thakur an independent candidate with assets worth approximately Rs. 54,000.

Other details

92 (49%) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th standard, while 83 (44%) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. 11 candidates are literate. 2 candidates are illiterate and 1 candidate holds the qualification of being an Oral Dental Hygienist. Out of the 189 candidates, 174 are men and 15 are women.

With alliances coming down crashing, major candidates facing serious criminal charges and yet being fielded by top political parties, and the growing anger of the citizens against the ruling party for keeping silent on the increasing lynching incidents, thrusting upon them the anti-conversion bill and granting precious tribal land to corporates depriving them of the right to a dignified life, we hope the elections this time the voters smarten up and vote for development and democracy instead of nationalism only to invite autocracy.

The entire report by the Jharkhand Election Watch and ADR can be read here.


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