As many as 54 per cent of MLAs newly elected to the Jharkhand Assembly in recently concluded elections in December 2019 have criminal cases pending against them. The moot question is can we trust legislators who themselves are involved in criminal cases of serious nature?
The exact number of legislators against whom criminal cases are pending is 44. And mind it, this information comes from the affidavits filed by these 81 MLAs and information analyzed during Jharkhand Assembly Elections. In comparison during 2014 elections to State Assembly, 68 per cent MLAs had criminal cases pending against them.
Sudhir Pal, State Coordinator, Jharkhand Election Watch, Association for Democratic Reforms told that out of 44 legislators against whom criminal cases were registered, at least 34 or 42 per cent were those who have serious criminal cases pending against them. These cases relate to relate to rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women.
Ironically, two MLAs had been declared convicted while two MLAs had declared cases related to murder against them under IPC 302 while two had declared cases of attempt to murder under Section 307 of IPC.
There are five MLAs against whom cases related to crimes against women and out of these five, two have declared cases related to rape under Section 376 of IPC.
Party wise 12 out of 25 MLAs are from BJP (48 per cent), three out of three from JVM (100 per cent), 17 out of 30 MLAs of JMM (57 per cent), one out of two MLAs of AJSU (50 per cent), eight out of 16 MLAs of Indian National Congress (50 per cent) and one MLA each from NCP, CPI and RJD (100 per cent) have criminal cases against them as per the affidavits filed by them.
When we talk about serious criminal cases, 9 out of 25 MLAs or 36 per cent who have serious criminal cases against them are from BJP, three out of three or 100 per cent are from JVM, 12 out of 30 MLAs of JMM Party or 40 per cent, eight out of 16 MLAs of INC or 50 per cent and one each from CPI, RJD or 100 per cent.
Interestingly, 69 per cent of the elected MLAs analyzed or 56 out of 81 are crorepatis. Out of 81 MLAs analyzed during Jharkhand 2014 assembly elections, 41 (51 per cent) MLAs were crorepatis. Party wise crorepati MLAs include 18 (72 per cent) out of 25 from BJP, 2 (67 per cent) out of 3 MLAs from JVM(P), 22 (73 per cent) out of 30 MLAs from JMM, 2 (100 per cent) MLAs from AJSU, 9 (56 per cent) out of 16 MLAs INC, and 2 (100 per cent) Independent MLAs have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.
The average of assets per MLA in the Jharkhand Elections 2019 is 3.87 Crore. The average of assets per MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly Elections 2014 was 1.84 crores. Among major parties, the average assets per MLAs for 30 JMM MLAs is 3.05 crores, 25 BJP MLAs is 4.79 crores, 16 INC MLAs is 4.27 crores, 2 AJSU Party MLAs have average assets of 10.26 crores and 3 JVM(P) MLAs have average assets worth 88.84 lakhs.
About educational qualifiations, 30 (37 per cent) MLAs have declared their educational qualification to be between 8th pass and 12th pass, while 49 (60 per cent) MLAs have declared having an educational qualification of graduate and above. One MLA has declared himself to be just literate and one MLA is a Diploma Holder. As many as 46 (57 per cent) MLAs have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years while 35 (43 per cent) MLAs have declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years.
Out of 81 MLAs, only 10 (12 per cent) MLAs are women. In 2014, out of 81 MLAs, 8 (10 per cent) MLAs were women. Other details of MLAs also make interesting reading. The Number of re-elected MLAs analyzed in the Jharkhand assembly elections of 2019 is 36.
The elected MLAs with high liabilities are 16 or overall 20 per cent. The BJP’s Manish Jaiswal is on top of the list with liabilities of 5.38 crores while he had additional disputed liabilities of Rs 8.77 crores as per his own declaration. Sudesh Kumar Mehto of AJSU Party had liabilities of 3.42 crores while Kamlesh Kumar Singh of NCP had liabilities totaling 2.95 crores.
The average assets of re-elected MLAs in 2014 were 2.07 crores. The average assets of re-elected MLAs in 2019 are worth 3.73 crores. The growth in average assets of re-elected MLAs is 1.65 crores or by 80 per cent from 2014 to 2019. In all there are 36 MLAs who have been reelected in 2019.
The addition in assets of re-elected MLAs is steep. For instance assets of re-elected BJP MLAs showed a growth of 85.88 per cent from 2014 to 2019, 99.54 per cent in case of re-elected MLAs from JMM, 25.70 per cent in case of INC, 51.34 per cent in case of JVM and 39 per cent in case of independents.
The elected MLAs with lowest assets are Mangal Kalindi who won from Jugalai (SC) on JMM ticket. He declared moveable assets of 30,000 and zero immovable assets. Amba Prasad of INC who won from Barkagaon had total assets of4.74 lakhs and Samir Kumar Mohanti who won from Baharagora on JMM ticket had movable assets of 3.49 lakh and immovable assets of 3.15 lakh.
Among major parties, the average assets per MLAs for 30 JMM MLAs is 3.05 crores, 25 BJP MLAs is 4.79 crores, 16 INC MLAs is 4.27 crores, 2 AJSU Party MLAs have average assets of 10.26 crores and 3 JVM(P) MLAs have average assets worth 88.84 lakhs. Rameshwar Oraon who won from Lohardaga(ST) constituency on INC ticket had total assets of over 28 crores including 27 crores of immovable assets.