West Bengal Assembly Election 2021: Electors of Gosaba Assembly of South 24 Parganas district queue up outside a polling booth to cast their vote. (Representative image: Twitter/@CEOWestBengal)
The West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 has concluded four phases of polling and the state is scheduled to begin polling in the fifth phase, for 45 constituencies, on April 17.
Polling will be held from 7 am to 6.30 pm at 15,789 polling stations in 16 assembly seats in North 24 Parganas, eight each in Purba Bardhaman and Nadia, seven in Jalpaiguri, five in Darjeeling and one in Kalimpong district.
In view of the Cooch Behar killings, in which four people were killed in CISF firing and one man was shot dead by unidentified persons outside a booth in Sitalkuchi, the Election Commission (EC) has decided to deploy at least 853 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting, according to an election official.
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As the constituencies are ready to cast votes, let us take a look at the contesting candidates based on their criminal cases, financial assets, educational qualifications, and gender representation, published by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
This analysis is based on the self-sworn affidavits of all 318 out of 319 candidates. One candidate namely Md Rafikul Islam of Welfare Party of India from Deganga constituency has not been analysed due to the unavailability of the complete affidavit.
Among the 318 candidates analysed, 79 have declared criminal cases against themselves. This means 25 percent of candidates have been charged with criminal cases. Of these, 28 are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 18 from Trinamool Congress (TMC), 10 from Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) and two from the Indian National Congress (Congress).
Out of 79 candidates with criminal cases, 64 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
As many as 13 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Of these, one candidate has declared case related to rape (Indian Penal Code Section-376).
Red Alert Constituencies
Among 45 constituencies going to vote in the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, nine are Red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
There are 65 candidates who are crorepati, which means they have declared assets valued at more than Rs one crore. Of these, 23 are from TMC, 18 from BJP, five from Congress and three from CPI(M).
Congress leaders Ritzu Ghosal tops the list with a declared asset value of over 19 crore (19,47,05,304).
A total of 182 candidates have an educational qualification equivalent to graduate or above. This amounts to 57 percent of the legislators.
As many as 125 candidates or 39 percent, have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass. There are three candidates who are diploma holders. Six candidates are just literate and two candidates are illiterate.
Among the 318 candidates analysed, 112 have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 156 have declared to be between 41 and 60 years. There are 50 candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 and 80 years.
Of the total candidates contesting in 45 constituencies of West Bengal, currently ruled by a woman chief minister, only 12 percent are female. This means, 281 candidates are men while only 38 are women.Follow our full coverage of the WB Assembly Election 2021 here