Lawmakers with criminal cases, crorepatis in Assam increased by over 10%: Study

Guwahati, May 6 (IANS) The number of elected MLAs with criminal cases and crorepatis (millionaire) increased by over 10 per cent in the recent Assam assembly elections compared to the 2016 polls, data analysis revealed.

The Assam Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 126 winning candidates and found that 27 per cent winning candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves this time against 11 per cent last time. The analysis said that 34 winning candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves this time against 14 MLAs in 2016. The report said that 28 (22 per cent) winning candidates have declared serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, crimes against women.

Among the major parties, 9 (15 per cent) out of the 60 elected candidates from the BJP, 12 (41 per cent) out of the 29 winning candidates from the Congress, 10 (63 per cent) out of the 16 winning candidates from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

The ADR report said that out of the 126 winning candidates analysed, 85 (67 per cent) are crorepatis while 72 (57 per cent) MLAs in the 2016 polls were millionaires. Among the major parties, 43 (72 per cent) out of 60 from BJP, 21 (72 per cent) out of 29 from Congress, 3 (75 per cent) out of four from Bodoland Peoples Front, 8 (89 per cent) out of 9 from AGP and 8 (50 per cent) out of 16 from AIUDF have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore each.

The AIUDF's Siraj Uddin Ajmal, who was elected from Hojai constituency in central Assam, topped among the crorepati lawmakers with his total assets, both movable and immovable, valued at over Rs 111 crore followed by Congress' Siddeque Ahmed (Karimganj South) at over Rs 26 crore and BJP's Naba Kumar Doley (Dhakuakhana (ST) at over Rs 25 crore.

Of the 126 winners, 34 (27 per cent) studied up to Class 12 while 91 (72 per cent) are graduates and above and one is a diploma holder.

The ADR data also showed that 43 per cent of the winning candidates are between 25 and 50 years of age while 57 per cent are between 51 and 70 years of age.

In the recently held elections to the 126 member Assam assembly, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the dominant partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), bagged 60 seats, similar to what it got five years ago. The NDA or the "Mitrajot" went on to finally win 75 seats in the 126-member Assembly. The BJP's old ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) won nine seats against 14 seats that it won last time while its new partner, United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) won six seats as the Bodoland-based party made its Assembly election debut.

In the opposition, the Congress, which governed Assam for 15 years (2001-2016), managed 29 seats, three seats more than the last elections when the party lost Assam to the BJP.

Other partners of the Congress-led "Mahajot" (grand alliance) - the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won 16 seats up from 13 last time, Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) got four seats against 12 seats in the previous polls and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won just one seat.

Raijor Dal President and jailed leader Akhil Gogoi, who contested from Sibasagar constituency as an independent candidate, also won by defeating BJP candidate Surabhi Rajkonwari by a margin of 11,875 votes.

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