Phase 6 is one of the smallest phases this election, but is one of the most prominent, as key electoral battles in Delhi, Haryana and important pockets in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh steal the limelight.
The penultimate phase of this election will see 59 seats going to polls, out of which the BJP on its own shall be defending 44 seats.
While the BJP has almost half their candidates having criminals cases against them at 48%, the Jannayak Janta Party in Haryana will see their candidates being absolute moneybags - with average assets of almost ₹25 crores.
85% of the candidates fielded by the BJP are crorepatis.
34 out of 59 constituencies in this phase are red-alert constituencies, which are fielding three or more candidates with criminal charges against them.
BOOM utilised the report by Association for Democratic Reforms on the self-sworn affidavits by 979 out of 967 candidates, to gain insights into their demographics.
The contestants of this phase are also relatively educated, with more than 53% of candidates having a graduate degree or better.
This phase will see 4 self-declared convicts this phase.
Meanwhile, 48% of all the candidates fielded by the BJP have declared criminal cases against themselves, 33% of candidates have cases that fall under ‘serious criminal charges’.
The Congress comes a close second. While 44% of their candidates have criminal charges against them, 26% of their candidates have serious criminal charges against them.
A surprise entry in this list is the Shiv Sena, a regional party from Maharashtra, who will be fielding 16 candidates this phase from Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal. 31% of their candidates have criminal cases against them; all of them being serious.
ADR defines a serious criminal case as:
- Punishments of 5 years or more or if it is non-bailable
- Electoral offences (such as bribery)
- Assault, murder, kidnap or rape
- Offences mentioned under the Representation of People’s Act, 1951
- Offences of corruption, under the Prevention of Corruption Act
How Money Talks In Phase 6
As per the classifications done by ADR, which divides the asset groups of contestants into five categories, 55% of contestants fall into the lower two rungs – with declared assets of less than ₹50 lakhs. In the previous two phases, it was 61% and 58%respectively.
The average asset of a candidate of a prominent regional player in Haryana - Jannayak Janta Party of the Chautala family fame is the highest in this phase, standing at ₹25 crores. The Congress comes a close second at ₹22 crores.
However, it must be noted that the parties are fielding an unequal number of candidates.
While the BJP and Congress are fielding the highest and the second highest number of candidates this phase - at 54 and 46, respectively.
Meanwhile, Jyotiraditya Scindia, is the richest candidate of this phase. He is contesting as the Congress candidate from his traditional constituency of Guna.
New entrant Gautam Gambhir, cricketer-turned-politician and BJP candidate from the closely watched East Delhi constituency is at number two.
Meanwhile, political dynasts and heavyweight candidates dominate the roster of candidates this phase, and are amongst the wealthiest of the lot in terms of their declared assets.
The Important Battles Of Phase 6
Phase 6, although the second smallest, will see some fierce battles take place.
Bhopal is going to be a hotly contested seat due to the controversy surrounding its main two candidates.
The Congress will pit former Madhya Pradhesh CM Digvijay Singh against Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur - who will be contesting on a BJP ticket.
Both of these candidates have seen their fair share of the limelight.
Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will be up against the BJP's Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirhua'.
Previously held by Mulayam Singh Yadav, this constituency has been a traditional stronghold of the Samajwadi Party with its strong Yadav votebank
A BJP fortress currently held by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, it is going to be a dramatic affair after she opted out of the contest due to health issues.
Vidisha has had a glorious history - former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan have held this seat.
However, it will make an interesting contest this time since infighting in the BJP, and the loss of the Vidisha assembly seat in December 2018 has raised the optimism of the Congress in winning this seat.
The BJP will be fielding Ramakant Bhargav against the Congress' Shailendra Patel.
Delhi NCR has 7 seats, all of which are currently being held by the BJP.
East Delhi will see a triangular contest between Aam Admi Party, the Congress and the BJP. An alliance between the Congress and AAP failed to materialise, which could have consolidated the anti-BJP vote.
BJP's Gautam Gambhir - cricketer turned politician - will go up against AAP's Atishi and the Congress' Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Ballot Buster – BOOM’s video coverage of Phase 6 – can be watched here.