Mumbai: As many as 47 newly-elected members of the Gujarat Assembly have criminal cases pending against them as per their election affidavits, according to a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch. It said that 18 (18 per cent) out of 99 BJP MLAs and 25 (32 per cent) out of 77 Congress MLAs have declared criminal cases pending against them. ADR and GEW, which work for electoral reforms, analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all the 182 newly-elected MLAs.
Results of the elections were declared yesterday. The study said that while the number of MLAs facing criminal cases decreased as compared to 2012, the number of ‘crorepati’ MLAs (those with assets of Rs 1 crore or more) has increased. Average assets of newly-elected MLAs are Rs 8.46 crore, the study said.
While 81 MLAs were re-elected this time, the average growth in the assets of re-elected MLAs from 2012 to 2017 is 45 per cent, it said. In 2012, there were 57 (31 per cent) MLAs who had declared that criminal cases were pending against them, while this time the number of such MLAs is 47 (26 per cent) in the the 182-member legislature.
Of these 47 MLAs with criminal cases, 33 (18 per cent) are facing serious criminal cases such as murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and robbery, while in the previous assembly, 24 (13 per cent) MLAs were facing serious criminal cases. Maheshbhai Chottubhai Vasava (Bhartiya Tribal Party) and Katara Bhaveshbhai Babubhai (Congress) have declared cases under section 302 of the IPC (murder). Six MLAs have declared that they are facing cases related to attempt to murder, said the study.
While analysing assets of the newly-elected MLAs, the study found that 141 (77 per cent) of MLAs are crorepatis, while this number was 134 (74 per cent) in 2012. Eighty-four (85 per cent) of the 99 BJP MLAs and 54 (70 per cent) of the Congress MLAs have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. Average assets per MLA in the new Assembly worth Rs 8.46 crore. The BJP’s Saurabh Yashvant Patel, who won from Botad, is the richest MLA with a declared assets of Rs 123 crore.