By Saibal Gupta
Kolkata, Apr 20 (IANS): Lack of education and excess money are the highlights of the 306 candidates contesting the sixth phase of Assembly elections in West Bengal scheduled on April 22.
On the one hand, 66 of the 306 candidates contesting the polls are crorepatis, only 94 of them have been able to clear the 10th standard.
In a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) - a social organisation that works in the area of electoral and political reforms - it has been mentioned that 66, which is 22 per cent of the 306 candidates contesting in the sixth phase are crorepatis.
Twenty-eight (65 per cent) of the 43 Trinamool Congress candidates have more than Rs 1 crore assets followed by the BJP in which 19 (44 per cent) of the 43 candidates are crorepatis.
Apart from that, three candidates from the Congress, four from CPI(M), two from AIFB and one from CPI have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
Individually, the BJP candidate from Dum Dum North in North 24 Parganas district, Archana Majumdar, is the richest with assets worth Rs 28.5 core followed by an Independent candidate, Binoy Kumar Das.
Das, who is an Independent candidate from Karandihi in North Dinajpur district, has assets worth Rs 22.3 crore.
The BJP candidate from Itahar in North Dinajpur district, Amit Kumar Kundu, is the third richest candidate with assets worth 16 crore.
Interestingly enough, BSP candidate from East Burdwan, Sandeep Sarkar, is the poorest candidate with only Rs 1,100 in his account.
If the excess of money is one side of the story of the candidates contesting in the sixth phase, then lack of education is the other side of the story.
Of the 306 candidates, 94 have been able cross the Class X standard. According to the ADR report, 37 candidates have passed Class X, 38 of them have passed Class VIII, 11 of them have passed Class V, 7 are literate and one is illiterate. Apart from that, there are 20 candidates who are graduates and 55 of them are post graduates.
The candidates, according to the analysis, also have a healthy criminal background. The analysis of the criminal records show that BJP has the highest number of candidates with criminal records.
Of the 43 candidates, 25 (58 per cent) have criminal records of whom 20 have been charged with serious offences.
The BJP is closely followed by Trinamool where 24 (56 per cent) of the 43 candidates have criminal records of whom 20 are charged with serious crimes.
In addition to this, 14 of the 23 CPI(M) candidates have criminal backgrounds. There are also 9 Independent candidates with criminal records.