New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) A total of 157 or 16 percent of all candidates in Tamil Nadu have declared serious criminal cases including those of murder registered against them, two election watchdogs said on Tuesday.
While five candidates face murder charges, 30 are battling charges of attempt to murder and eight candidates have cases related to crime against women, the Tamil Nadu Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a statement.
Giving a party-wise break-up, it said 47 percent of the 17 CPI-M candidates and 42 percent of the 98 DMDK nominees battled criminal cases.
In the case of Congress, it was 27 percent (10 out of 37 candidates), 15 percent (26 out of 176 candidates) for BJP, 22 percent (47 out of 217 candidates) for AIADMK and 40 percent (68 out of 170 candidates) for DMK.
The three richest candidates from among the 997 in the fray for the May 16 assembly elections were H. Vasanthakumar (Congress, total assets Rs.337 crore), M.K. Mohan (DMK, Rs.170 crore) and J. Jayalalithaa (AIADMK, Rs.113 crore).
The average assets of the 997 major party candidates was Rs.4.35 crore. Two candidates declared zero assets: V. Karuppan and S. Dhandapani (both BJP).
The three candidates with the lowest assets are: A. Mohan (CPI, Rs.6,500), P. Murugesan (BJP, Rs.40,000) and C. Veeralakshmi (MDMK, Rs.41,000).
According to the statement, 454 (46 percent) candidates declared their education qualification to be between Class 5 pass and Class 12 pass while 488 (49 percent) candidates were graduate or above.
Six candidates are simple literates and six more illiterate.