Report By – Priti Singh
Kolkata: Through the press conference at Calcutta press club, the West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW) supported by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), New Delhi. As per the reports, it is a civil society initiative of the state, which works for strengthening electoral democracy and good governance. WBEW and ADR will be circulating the analysis of the self confirmed affidavits of the contesting candidates during seven phases of Assembly Election 2021 to media progressively.
During the interaction with Siren Editor, the State Cooperator WBEW Ujjaini Halim has informed how much this analysis will spread awareness among the voters. Not only has keeping violence in mind Election Commission taken adequate measures to ensure law and order is in proper shape and observers will be also present to ensure there will be a free, fair, and fearless election. One motive of the West Bengal election is to promote a fearless election. “From Our side, we are introducing an android app election watch recorder, you can download it from play store if something unpleasant thing or anything wrong happing near your booth, anybody can take the picture and report through the app and we make sure that this information reaches to Election Commission,” said Ujjaini Halim.
Earlier, Supreme Court On February 25th September 2019 ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that aggravated them to field suspected criminals over decent people. While keeping in mind the apex courts order EC letter dated 6th March 2020 mentioned that it is mandatory for political parties at the central and state election level to upload on their website detailed information regarding candidates with pending criminal cases including the nature of the offense, relevant particulars like whether charges have been framed, the concerned court, the case number etc.
WBEW and ADR has revealed the criminal background of candidates and mentioned that out of 191 candidates analyzed, 48 (25%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, 42 (22%) have declared serious criminal cases, 19(10%) Crorepati Candidates, Rs.43.77 Lacs average assets of candidates. as Out of 12 candidates 1 candidate has declared cases related to rape (IPC section-376). Eight candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves. 19 candidates have declared cases related to the attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves. 7 out of 30 constituencies are Red alert constituencies.