On February 2, several media houses had published a report by PTI on criminal cases declared by candidates of various parties in the Delhi elections which are taking place today. Quoting a report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the report had said that 25% of AAP candidates, 20% of BJP candidates and 15% and Congress candidates have declared serious criminal cases against them in their affidavits filed with their nomination papers for the assembly elections.
But the numbers reported by PTI are completely wrong, as the percentage of candidates with criminal cases against them is much higher as per the ADR report published on 1st February. The news agency has reduced the numbers to a great extent in particularly for AAP, while it reduced the numbers slightly for BJP and Congress also.
As per the ADR report, 60% of AAP candidates have declared criminal cases, and 51% have serious criminal cases against them. AAP tops the list of candidates with criminal cases with 42 out of 70 candidates, while 36 (51%) among them are facing serious charges. Bharatiya Janta Party has fielded 67 candidates, and 26 (39%) among them have declared criminal cases against them, with 17 (25%) facing serious criminal cases. Among the 66 candidates of Indian National Congress, 18 (27%) have criminal cases with 13 (20%) facing serious criminal cases.
Therefore, while AAP has 51% candidates facing serious criminal cases, PTI reported it as only 25%. BJP’s 25% was reduced to 20% and Congress’s 20% was reduced to 15% by the report.
Curiously, the report correctly quotes the overall number of candidates facing criminal charges, as it says that total 133 (20%) candidates among total 672 candidates contesting the elections have declared criminal cases against them, which matches with the ADR report.
It is not unusual for media houses to distort report based on their political ideology, but to completely misquote numbers from a publicly available report is going too far in that aspect. Moreover, the media houses also must be blamed equally for publishing a wire service report without verification of the facts, when the source report was already available online.