As the country gears up to witness the assembly elections at four states and one Union Territory, it would be pertinent to note that 25% MLAs in the outgoing assemblies have pending criminal cases against them.
Out of the 140 candidates analysed from the Kerala legislative assembly, 69 have pending criminal cases while 18 have very serious charges against them. In the case of Tamil Nadu, 234 candidates have been analysed of which 77 have pending cases of which 25 have serious charges pending against them. At Puducherry 30 have been analysed of which 5 out of the 6 have serious charges pending against them. In West Bengal 30 have serious charges while 40 have criminal cases pending against them. The NEW has managed to scrutinize the records of 283 MLAs from this state. In the case of Assam, 126 candidates have been analysed of which 5 have serious charges and 7 criminal charges pending against them.
The overall figure for these states and one union territory is- out of the 813 candidates analysed 204 have pending charges against them while 83 have serious charges.
M Vijay Kumar of the CPI(M) from Kerala tops the list with 13 cases while K U Narayan Chaudhary of the Indian National Congress in West Bengal comes in second with 12 cases. Ranganatha N B of the DMK is third with nine cases against him.
NEW has also found that about 50% of the MLAs analysed (403 MLAs out of 813) did not declare their PAN card details in their previous affidavits. The current format of the affidavit, where candidates have to declare date and other details of their last income tax filed, will make it easy to catch tax deafulters.
The report also states that despite public statements by the presidents of various political parties that they are strongly in favour of increasing the representation of women in the assemblies, the number of women MLAs is very low. It is barely 9.5% (i.e. 77) across these assemblies. In fact, Puducherry has no women MLAs and Kerala has only 7% women MLAs.
In terms of crorepati MLAs c has the lead with 57. Assam comes in at two with 16 while Puducherry and Kerala have nine and 8 respectively. West Bengal has the least number of these MLAs at 7 according to the report.
The richest MLA in the list is Vasanth Kumar of the Indian National Congress from Tamil Nadu whi is worth around 36.13 crore while Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi is second with Rs 26.5 crore.