Lucknow: In the race to the 17th Lok Sabha, many tainted candidates are in the fray. There are 16 seats of Uttar Pradesh going to polls in the first and the second phase and as many as 282 candidates would be trying their luck.

Of these, many have multiple cases registered against them. Here’s a look at the tainted candidates in the Uttar Pradesh arena in the first two phases:

With 28 cases against him, Yogesh Verma tops the list. He is the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate from Bulandshahr. He is also a history-sheeter in Hastinapur police station. He has recently been released on bail and didn’t waste any time in joining the poll race. His wife is the mayor of Meerut, say reports. Verma is a Meerut resident.

Sribhagwan Sharma aka Guddu Pandit, another alliance candidate, is fighting this election from Fatehpur Sikri. He has as many as 13 cases against him, ranging from rape, cheating, assault, riot and even threatening.

Even senior leaders like S P Baghel and Raj Babbar have cases against them. Baghel is a minister and the BJP’s Agra candidate with eight cases on him. Raj Babbar, the Congress candidate from Fatehpur Sikri and the UPCC chief, has four cases against him.

BJP candidate from Saharanpur Raghav Lakhanpal has two cases against him. Interestingly, both these cases have been registered on police officials’ complaints. Congress candidate from the same constituency Imran Masood also has seven cases registered against him.

BJP candidate from Bijnor Kunwar Bhartendra has three cases registered against him, one of them of domestic violence filed by his wife.  From Bijnor itself, Congress candidate Naseemuddin Siddiqui also has a case against him.

The alliance candidate from Meerut, Haji Yaqoob has six and sitting MP and BJP candidate Rajendra Agarwal has three cases registered against him.

Likewise, Muzaffarnagar MP and candidate Sanjeev Baliyan has a case against him.

Meanwhile, some of the known trigger-happy ‘politicians’ are conspicuous by their absence this time. Like Ateeq Ahmad who is in jail and has 42 cases registered against him. Reports suggest he is in talks with someone, only time will tell what comes of that.

Mukhtar Ansari is languishing in Punjab jail. Reports suggest Ansari has been trying for tickets for son Abbas and aide Atul Rai. However, there is no official information on that yet.

Mafia-turned-MLC Brijesh Singh hasn’t shown any interest in fighting these elections or even propping some candidate.

Raja Bhaiyya aka Raghuraj Pratap Singh has always fought as an Independent. This year, he has launched his party. He has one case against him and just might field some candidate.