The ‘Criminal’ Quotient of Gujarat Elections


    When the crime accused stands to administrate the people in his region, it’s probably the biggest irony of all. In Gujarat elections, something like that is unfolding. Both the ruling BJP and Congress have fielded some candidates that are accused of crimes against women, and attempt to murder. Here, take a look.



    What is it? The number of candidates fighting the second phase of Gujarat elections with criminal cases.

    Why is it important? This represents 12% of all candidates, and more than 8% of candidates have serious criminal cases like crimes against women, attempt to murder, offence carrying punishment more than 5 years. Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress – the two leading parties – have 13 and 18 candidates with serious criminal cases.

    Tell me more: In the first phase, 137 or 15% of candidates have criminal cases against them.


    155 crore litres

    What is it? The amount of ethanol that will be purchased by oil marketing companies (OMCs) in current financial year.

    Why is it important? This is more than double the amount purchased by OMCs during last financial year, and this would mean sugar companies or ethanol manufacturers will get additional revenue of Rs 4,500 crore. This will benefit sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra which together will provide more than 75% of the 155 crore litres.

    Tell me more: India targetted ethanol blending of 10% in fossil fuel to reduce import bill. Ethanol is produced from molasses, the byproduct from sugar production.



    What is it? The number of Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in last month. 1,500 arrived last week alone, according to UNCHYR

    Why is it important? The flow of refugees continues, though the numbers have come down. More than 625,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25. Both  Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on November 23 to start the return of refugees. The continued flow of refugees is an indicator of unsafe conditions still prevailing in Myanmar, said United Nations High Commission for Refugees or UNHCR.

    Tell me more: Rohingya are muslim minorities with majority of them living in Rakhine state of Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country. The latest exodus started after Rohingya Arsa militants attacked more than 25 police posts on August 25 this year.


    12 million

    What is it? The number of people eligible to vote in the second phase of the elections in Nepal.

    Why is it important? This is the first time Nepal will elect representatives to seven state assemblies since the land-locked country adopted the republican constitution in 2015. Since the civil war ended in 2006, Nepal has seen political instability with 10 governments in as many years and two years later, the Hindu monarchy ended.

    Tell me more: Voter turnout is estimated at 67%, and the elections will be closely watched by India and China. The left alliance is seen as pro-China, and the alliance led by Nepali Congress Party is seen as pro-India.


    Rs5 crore

    What is it? The amount of penalty levied by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living for damaging the Yamuna floodplains in 2016.

    Why is it important? NGT held Art of Living responsible for ‘causing damage and environmental degradation’ of the Yamuna floodplains. The tribunal did not impose additional penalty despite its own expert committee estimated the damages at Rs42.02 crore. Art of Living has denied the charges and is now planning to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

    Tell me more: NGT was established in 2010 to deal fast with environmental cases. So far, it has decided on 20,696 out of 23,720 cases filed.


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