New Delhi: As the country gears up for the assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory, it i pertinent to note that 25 percent of the MLAs in the outgoing assemblies have criminal cases pending against them.
Out of the 140 candidates analyzed 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 analyzed, of which 77 have pending cases against them, of which 25 face serious charges.
In Puducherry, 30 MLAs have been analyzed of which five MLAs have serious charges pending against them.
In West Bengal, 30 MLAs face serious charges while 40 MLAs in all; have criminal cases pending against them.
The National Election Watch, an NGO, had managed to scrutinize the records of 283 MLAs from West Bengal.
In Assam, 126 MLAs have been analyzed of whom five have serious charges and seven criminal charges pending against them.
Cumulatively, out of the 813 candidates analyzed, 204 have pending charges against them while 83 face serious charges.
M. Vijay Kumar of the Communist Party of India-Marxist from Kerala tops the list with 13 cases registered against him while K.U. Narayan Chaudhary of the Indian National Congress from West Bengal comes in second with 12 cases.
Ranganatha N.B. of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is third with nine cases against him.
The NEW has also found that about 50 percent 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, wil make it easy to catch tax defaulters.
The report also states that despite public statements by the presidents of various political parties that they are strongly in favor of increasing the representation of women in the assemblies, the number of women MLAs is very low.
It is barely 9.5 percent ( 77) across these assemblies. In fact, Puducherry has no women MLAs and Kerala has only 7 percent women MLAs.
In terms of crorepati MLAs, Tamil Nadu leads with 57. Assam is second with 16, while Puducherry and Kerala have nine and eight respectively.
West Bengal has the least number of these MLAs at seven, according to the report.
The richest MLA on the list is Vasanth Kumar of the Indian National Congress from Tamil Nadu, who is worth around Rs. 36.13 crore while Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi is second with assets worth Rs. 26.5 crore.