As many as 49 candidates belonging to four major contesting parties in the Greater Hyderabad civic polls have criminal record.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tops the list with 17 candidates, followed by ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) whose 13 candidates were found to be having a criminal record.
According to NGO Forum for Good Governance, 12 candidates of Congress and seven of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) also have criminal cases against them.
Forum Secretary M Padmanabha Reddy said they analysed the antecedents of candidates who filed their nominations for December 1 election to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
The NGO said affidavits indicating the criminal cases of candidates belonging to four parties were downloaded from the State Election Commission website and analysed.
A total of 96 criminal cases are pending against 49 candidates. There are six women candidates among those having criminal records.
A total of 41 wards have candidates with criminal records. In Malkajgiri division, all the contesting candidates from main parties have criminal records.
During the previous GHMC elections in 2016, the political parties had given tickets to 72 candidates who had criminal cases against them. "This time the number is reduced to 49 which is a good sign for decriminalisation of politics," said Reddy.
"Due to recent unprecedented floods residents of Hyderabad have suffered heavily. To avert such calamity in future, there is a need for efficient and effective GHMC. To make this possible, we have to elect honest and clean corporators," he said.
The Forum for Good Governance appealed to voters to vote for candidates with clean record and who can serve the people with all sincerity. If an voter doesn't like any of the contesting candidates, he as a last resort should vote for NOTA (none of the above), it said.
Over 74 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in December 1 polls to 150-member GHMC. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 4.