India’s largest constituency only has candidates with criminal past to choose from

ET, Delhi, BCCL

  • Unnao, Uttar Pradesh goes to vote in the fourth phase of elections today.
  • The key candidates from the Unnao Lok Sabha constituency include controversial BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, Annu Tandon from Congress and Arun Shankar Shukla of Samajwadi party.
  • Of the total electoral candidates for fourth phase, Uttar Pradesh has 18% candidates with declared serious criminal cases, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report.
Unnao in Uttar Pradesh is the country’s largest electoral constituency voting in the fourth phase of India’s general elections.

The key candidates from the Unnao Lok Sabha constituency include controversial BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, Annu Tandon from Congress and Arun Shankar Shukla of Samajwadi party.

Much under the heat due to the rape case against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, has been facing resentment by its natives largely. Back in April 2018, Sengar, a four-time MLA , was accused for raping a minor at his place in Makhi village, and is presently behind the bars along with his wife Shashi and son Shubham.

The Yogi Adityanath led BJP government, has sent Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao for 3 consecutive tenures. Claiming to be a saint, Maharaj has 34 criminal cases against him for robbery, murder, forgery — including two accusing him of rape, reported news agency IANS mentioning his election affidavit.

Earlier this month, the self-proclaimed ‘saint’ reportedly said those who didn’t vote for him would be cursed.

“A saint has come to your door. When a saint comes to beg and is not given what he asks for, he takes away all the happiness of the family and in turn curses the family...This I am not saying, but I am quoting from sacred scriptures. I am not asking for money or land. Those who do not vote for me will face divine displeasure,” the Tribune reported quoting him.

Popularly known as ‘Anna,’ Samajwadi party candidate Arun Shankar Shukla has had oodles of land in Lucknow and neighbouring areas. In fact, he had been a prime suspect in a guesthouse scandal in mid-nineties, India Today reported.

According to a leaked report on money held in Swiss bank accounts, Congress candidate Annu Tondon had a staggering account value of $5,728,042 (nearly ₹400 million), as on July 2007.

Crime and Politics intertwined

Indian politics has had a strong intertwining with criminal charges on its potential candidates.

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, which analysed candidates with criminal records, 210 candidates have been found with declared criminal cases. Out of which, 25 candidates(44%) are from the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while Congress has sent 18 candidates(32%) for the electoral process.


While the Supreme Court refused to keep political parties from sending their candidates into polls, it directed all the electoral candidates and political parties to publish the criminal records of their party candidates via newspapers and social media channels.

Of the total electoral candidates for fourth phase, Uttar Pradesh has 18% candidates with declared serious criminal cases, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report.

See also:
Uttar Pradesh’s unpaid farmers who are owed ₹128 billion will express their anger with ballot ink

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