As many as 47 members of legislative assembly (MLAs) (26%) of the newly elected 182-member Gujarat assembly have declared criminal charges against them.
Thirty three MLAs (18%) have been charged for serious criminal offences including murder and attempt to murder, according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms, an advocacy group.
The proportion of the Gujarat assembly with criminal charges declined in 2017 compared to 2012, while the number of MLAs charged for serious criminal offences increased by five percentage points.
Of 182 MLAs of the 2012 Gujarat assembly, 57 (31%) had criminal charges and 24 (13%) had serious criminal charges filed against them.
A serious crime includes an offence for which the maximum punishment is five years or more, non-bailable or an electoral offence or one related to assault, murder, kidnap, rape and other crimes against women.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat with 99 seats. Of these 99 MLAs, 18 (18%) declared criminal cases filed against them; 12 (12%) of BJP MLAs face serious criminal charges.
In the 2012 assembly, 30 (27%) of 112 MLAs from BJP declared criminal offences and 15 (13%) MLAs had serious criminal cases against them.
BJP was followed by the Congress with 77 seats in the state assembly. Of these 77 MLAs, 25 (32%) and 17 (22%) MLAs have criminal and serious criminal cases filed against them, respectively.
Two MLAs, Maheshbhai Chottubhai Vasava (Bhartiya Tribal Party) and Katara Bhaveshbhai Babubhai (Congress), have murder cases filed against them, while six MLAs have cases related to attempt to murder against them.
Of 1,815 candidates analysed by ADR, 253 (14%) candidates declared criminal cases against them and 154 (8%) candidates are charged in serious criminal cases.
As many as 35 (19%) of 182 constituencies were put on “red alert” during the 2017 election season.
A constituency is assigned “red alert” status in case three or more candidates contesting have criminal charges filed against them.
In comparison, during the 2012 elections, there were 25 (14%) red alert constituencies.
141 MLAs are crorepatis, up from 134 in 2012
As many as 141 (77%) of 182 MLAs are crorepatis compared to 134 (74%) MLAs in the 2012 assembly.
The average assets per MLA in the 2017 Gujarat assembly are Rs 8.46 crore compared to Rs 6.23 crore in 2012.
As many as 84 of 99 MLAs (85%) from BJP, 54 of 77 MLAs (70%) from Congress, three MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party and Nationalist Congress Party have declared assets more than Rs 1 crore.
The average assets of 121 re-contesting MLAs, analysed by ADR, is Rs 10.54 crore, an increase of Rs 2.97 crore between 2012 and 2017.
As many as 81 of these 121 candidates were re-elected; their average assets increased from Rs 7.41 crore in 2012 to Rs 10.71 crore in 2017, an increase of 45% over five years.
|Top Three MLAs With Highest Assets|
|Name||Party||Total Assets (In Rs crore)|
|Saurabh Yashvantbhai Dalal Patel||BJP||123+|
|Chavda Jawaharbhai Pethaljibhai||Congress||103+|
While 13 (7%) of 182 MLAs have not declared their sources of income, 20 (11%) MLAs have not declared their income tax details.
(Shreya Prabhu is a data analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)
This story was originally published on factchecker.in and has been republished with permission.
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