Affluence is Directly Proportional to Criminal Cases Against Indian MLAs

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Currently, 28 states and two union territories in the country have a total of 4,033 members in their assemblies. In an analysis of self-declared affidavits of 4,001 MLAs, a whopping 1,777 have been found to have criminal charges against them

Shibra Siddiqui | Clarion India

Indian politics is known for its complexities and diversity. The criminal and affluent background of Indian politicians has been a point of discussion for decades. In a not-so-shocking revelation, a comprehensive report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Wach (NEW) reveals the data about the criminal background of active politicians, as 44 per cent of members of state legislative assemblies have criminal charges against them. Twenty-eight percent of these, however, face serious criminal cases. The latest report also shares the number of affluent politicians. A total of 98 per cent of MLAs enjoy the status of crorepatis (millionaires).

Currently, 28 states and two union territories in the country have a total of 4,033 members in their assemblies. In an analysis of self-declared affidavits of 4,001 MLAs, a whopping 1,777 have been found to have criminal charges against them. This translates to 44 in percentage, meaning nearly half of Indian MLAs are involved in crimes.

ADR and NEW delved into various aspects of sitting MLAs, including their financial status, education qualification, gender representation, age demographic, and criminal background. Self-sworn pre-poll affidavits provided by sitting members of state legislatures to the Election Commission have been used for analysing purposes.

The report released a week ago raises concerns over political representation in state assemblies as a total of 44 per cent of MLAs face criminal cases. Out of 4,001 cases analysed, 1,136 or 28 per cent of MLA are accused of serious criminal offenses, including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, etc.

A total of 47 MLAs have declared cases related to murder under IPC Section 302 and 118 MLAs have cases of attempt to murder falling under Section 307 of the IPC. A total of 114 MLAs are charged with crimes against women, 14 of them accused of rape under IPC Section 376.

Assemblies of Kerala, Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu comprise more than half of the MLAs with criminal cases. Kerala tops the list with 95 i.e. 70 per cent of its MLAs have criminal cases against them. Sikkim comes last with only 3 per cent of MLAs having criminal charges against them. If only serious cases were to be considered the figure drops to 27 per cent for Kerala. While Kerala leads in terms of percentage, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 202 criminal MLAs with 155 of them facing serious cases like murder, attempt to murder and crime against women.

Criminal cases including murder, attempt to murder, and crime against women fall under the category of serious offences. Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the top three states accommodating MLAs facing serious charges like murder and attempt to murder. In cases of crime against women, MLAs of Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra top the list.

In terms of accommodating MLAs with criminal charges or betting over candidates with criminal records, BJP takes the top spot. Affidavits of a total of 1,356 BJP MLAs were analysed and 479 of them were found to be having criminal charges, while 337 have declared serious criminal charges against themselves.

Of a total of 1,777 MLAs with criminal cases, the BJP accounts for 27 per cent. For Congress, it is 19 per cent. A total of 334 MLAs of the Congress, 719 have sworn in affidavits that they have criminal cases against them. Out of these 194 MLAs are facing serious criminal charges. DMK comes third with 99 MLAs declaring criminal cases against them out of 131 members of the assembly.

Financial Background

Indian MLAs possess assets worth an average of 13.63 crores. MLAs of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra are among the richest, with average assets of 64.39, 28.24, and 23.51 crores respectively. A total of 32 MLAs in Karnataka, 10 in Andhra Pradesh and 12 in Maharashtra possess assets of more than 100 crores.

The fact that startles us is that MLAs with criminal cases are more affluent than those without any criminal background. The report highlights that the average wealth of those with criminal cases is 16.36 crore, and MLAs with no criminal charges possess average assets of 11.45 crore.

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