Kolkata, March 30: At least 23 crorepatis (millioires) and 58 with declared crimil cases are among the 296 candidates in the fray in the two-stage first phase of the West Bengal assembly polls. According to West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW), in the first stage of the first phase (1A), only three of the 133 candidates in the fray possess properties in excess of Rs.1 crore. However, at least 21 candidates — comprising 16 percent of the total candidates — have declared crimil cases including murder, attempt to murder and rape.
Phase 1A involving 18 constituencies spread across the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts of West Midpore, Purulia and Bankura goes to the polls on April 4.
The BJP has three candidates with pending crimil cases, the most number for any political party. Two candidates each from the Congress and the Trimool Congress have pending crimil cases against them.
Salboni and Purulia have been identified as “Red Alert” constituencies.
The WBEW gives such an appelation to a constituency when there are three or more candidates with declared crimil cases. In Phase 1B, 37 of 163 contesting candidates have crimil antecedents. Twenty of those in the fray have assets in excess of Rs.1 crore.
Phase 1B covering 31 constituencies spread across districts of West Midpore, Bankura and Burdwan goes to the polls on April 11 and has 163 candidates in the fray.
The BJP with 12 has the most number of candidates with crimil cases followed by the Trimool with 10 and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) with seven. (IANS)