Friday, November 11th, 2016

Contractors, builders, mafia are front runners for tickets in UP election

Mini Banerjee | November 11, 2016 10:16 am Print
These facts were revealed in a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch on prospective candidates in the coming UP Assembly elections.
Contractors, builders, education and mining mafias and owners of chit fund companies are likely to be seen in big number among those seeking tickets from different political parties for 2017 state Assembly elections early next year.
The number of professionals such as doctors, lawyers and teachers is likely to come down as far as the list of probable contestants is concerned.
These facts were revealed in a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch on  prospective candidates in the coming UP Assembly elections.
Giving details of this study report in Lucknow on Thursday, Chief Executive Officer of ADR Election Watch Maj Gen (Retd) Anil Verma said that in the UP Assembly soon after independence the maximum number of legislators were lawyers, teachers and other trained professionals but their numbers steadily moved down.
The survey by the ADR revealed that around 84 percent of probable candidates were contractors, builders, education and mining mafias or owners of the chit fund companies. The sample size of the survey was 10,000 people who were also questioned to seek their opinion about probable candidates. The question asked were: Who want to contest the polls, what are their traditional occupation and present business, whether the candidate is a first timer or has old political background, what social work he has done and last what is his economic background.
The ADR, however, believes that the Centre’s move to pull Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes out of circulation is likely to boost the Election Commission’s efforts to end the chronic electoral malpractice of politicians bribing voters with illicit money.
It is believed that political parties start mobilising money months before elections are announced so that it reaches the destination. In Uttar Pradesh, with 403 assembly constituencies, Rs 37.46 crore was seized in 2012.
 “Money power plays a big role in elections here. Studies show distribution of cash among the people to influence the voting pattern is common in rural areas. Political parties use black money – Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for the purpose,” said SK Dwivedi, a former professor of political science at Lucknow University.
Mini Banerjee
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