Voters standing outside a polling booth in West Bengal. The states has three more phases of polling to go. (File image: AFP)
Campaigning for the high-decibel sixth phase of polling in the West Bengal Assembly election has concluded and 43 constituencies are ready to vote on April 22.
Polling will be held between 7 am and 6.30 pm at 14,480 polling stations in 17 constituencies in the North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur districts and eight in Purba Bardhaman district. Altogether 306 contestants are in the fray, including the BJP's national vice president Mukul Roy, senior TMC leaders and ministers Jyotipriya Mallick and Chandrima Bhattacharya, and CPI(M) leader Tanmay Bhattacharya.
There are more than 1.03 crore voters in these 43 constituencies, who are eligible to exercise their franchise. Of those voters, 53.21 lakh are men, 50.65 lakh are women while 256 belong to the third gender.
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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 306 candidates.
Among the 306 candidates, 87 have declared criminal cases against themselves. This means 28 percent of candidates have been charged with criminal cases. Of these, 25 are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 24 from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), 14 from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) and five from the Indian National Congress (Congress).
Out of 87 candidates with criminal cases, 71 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
As many as 19 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Of these, one candidate has declared cases related to rape (Indian Penal Code Section-376).
Red Alert Constituencies: Among 43 constituencies going to vote in the sixth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, 12 are Red Alert constituencies. Red Alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
There are 66 candidates who are crorepati, which means they have declared assets valued at more than Rs one crore. Of these, 28 are from TMC, 19 from BJP, 12 from Congress and four from CPI(M).
BJP leaders Archana Majumdar tops the list with a declared asset value of over 28 crore (28,54,32,895).
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A total of 165 candidates have an educational qualification equivalent to graduate or above. This amounts to 53 percent of the legislators.
As many as 129 candidates or 42 percent, have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass. There are four candidates who are diploma holders. Seven candidates are just literate and one candidate is illiterate.
Among the 306 contesting candidates, 85 have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 162 have declared to be between 41 and 60 years. There are 59 candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 and 80 years.
Of the total candidates contesting in 43 constituencies of West Bengal, currently ruled by a woman chief minister, only nine percent are female. This means, 279 candidates are men while only 27 are women.