Manipur cleanest among poll-bound states, finds analysis

Manipur cleanest among poll-bound states, finds analysis

While it has become common for money and muscle power to dictate elections these days, Manipur has come across as the cleanest of the five states that are currently holding elections.

The north-eastern state has just four candidates with criminal antecedence out of 265 in fray for 70 seats, an analysis by private election watchdog Association for Democratic Rights (ADR) has revealed.

The hill state of Uttarakhand has 54 candidates with criminal records out of 637 fighting for 70 seats, while Goa has 19 nominees with serious charges out of 251 who fought for 40 seats.

Punjab, among the bigger states that went to polls this time, has 77 tainted candidates, but Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state of all, topped the list of candidates with criminal records with 609 out of 4,295 till Phase 6.

Of the four tainted candidates in Manipur, one belongs to Congress and three from BJP. Congress has nominated 59 in the north-eastern state while BJP fielded 60.

While Uttarakhand went to polls on February 15, Goa and Punjab voted on February 4. Manipur will vote in two phases on March 4 and 8 while UP has two more phases to go till March 8 in a seven phase poll.
Government statistics also revealed that Manipur has the IPC crime rate of 149.5 as against the national average of 234.2. Goa tops the list of the five states holding elections with 156.4, Punjab 131.2, Uttar Pradesh 112.1 and Uttarakhand 97.2.

Even in terms of crorepatis, the average net worth of candidates was Rs 1.14 crore in Manipur, while Goa topped the average wealth of the candidates at Rs 4.75 crore. The assets of candidates in Punjab was Rs 3.49 crore and the same in Uttarakhand was  Rs 1.57 crore.

The wealth rate of candidates in Uttar Pradesh until the sixth phase ranged from Rs 1.56 crore to Rs 2.81 crore. Manipur also figures at the bottom when it comes to the number of crorepati candidates with 83, whereas Punjab boasts of 428, Goa 156, Uttarakhand 200 and UP 1,325.

One area where Manipur needs significant improvement is the number of women candidates. The north-eastern state has 11 women in the fray, two each from Congress and BJP. By contrast, Punjab has 81 women candidates, Uttarakhand 56, Goa 18 and Uttar Pradesh has 344.

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