The Geography of criminal cases

Now that most candidates’ affidavits have been processed by ADR, we revisit our earlier visualisations on criminal cases.

Let’s start with the % of candidates with criminal cases. On the left was our earlier result. On the right is the current result. Most of the large parties, except Shiv Sena, have shown an increase in the % of candidates with criminal cases.

Party treemap Party treemap

That leads one to ask the question: are the later polling phases more prone to candidates with high criminal records? What does the geographic distribution look like?

Statewise candidates with criminal cases

Among the larger states, Bihar tops the list with over 30% of candidates having serious criminal cases, followed by Kerala, where 29% of candidates have serious criminal cases. Among the smaller ones, Goa tops the list with over 31% of the candidates having a criminal case.

Within Bihar, there is considerable variation. At least one in every 2 candidates at Maharajganj, Jahanabad and Khagaria have a criminal case booked against them. In contrast, at Sasaram and Jamui in the south, fewer than 1 in 10 candidates have a criminal case.



Kerala, too, shows such variation. At both Kollam and Thrissur, one in every two candidates has a criminal case against them. But at Kozhikode, less than 1 in 10 have a criminal case, and at Ernakulam, it is less than 1 in 8.

But this begs the question: are there any relatively large constituencies, or even states, where there are no candidates with criminal cases against them. A look at the India state map above points us in that direction. In 2014, none of the 40 candidates contesting in the states of Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim have a single criminal case according to their affidavits. Jammu & Kashmir has a pretty good list too, with only 2 out of 77 candidates having a criminal case.

Here’s a break-up of the percentage of candidates with criminal cases across every district in the country. We hope to have an interactive version of this available soon at

Districtwise candidates with criminal cases

Leave a Reply