37 pc of Bengal's sitting MLAs have criminal cases, 34 pc are decamillionaires: Report
Kolkata/IBNS: Weeks ahead of the Bengal assembly elections, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and West Bengal Election Watch have published an analysis of criminal background, financial, education, gender and other details of the state's sitting MLAs which has revealed that 37 per cent of them have declared criminal cases against themselves.
The 139-page study, which was conducted on 282 out of 294 sitting MLAs, stated that 104 (37 pc) MLAs had declared criminal cases, 90 (32 pc) MLAs had declared serious criminal cases, seven MLAs had cases related to murder (IPC section 302), 10 MLAs had cases related to crimes against women (IPC section 354), and 24 MLAs had declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC section 307).
The report shows 68 (33 pc) out of 205 MLAs from the ruling Trinamool Congress (AITC), 20 (51 pc) out of 39 MLAs from Congress (INC), 11 (46 pc) out of 24 CPI(M) MLAs, three (50 pc) out of six BJP MLAs, and one (100 pc) out of one each MLAs from the CPI and Independent have declared criminal cases against
"Party wise, 61(30 pc) out of 205 MLAs from AITC, 15 (39 pc) out of 39 MLAs from INC, 10 (42 pc) out of 24 MLAs from CPI(M), three (50 pc) out of six MLAs from BJP and one (100 pc) out of one MLA from Independent have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits," the study read.
Meanwhile, out of the 282 Bengal sitting MLAs analyzed, 97 (34 per cent) are decamillionaires, according to the ADR study.
"Party wise, 78 (38 pc) out of 205 MLAs from AITC, 13 (33 pc) out of 39 MLAs from INC, two (8 pc) out of 24 MLAs from CPI(M), two (33 pc) out of six MLAs from BJP, one MLA from Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), and one Independent MLA have declared assets valued more than rupees one crore," the report stated.
The study shows the average assets per sitting MLA in West Bengal is Rs. 1.49 crore.
"The average assets per MLA for 205 AITC MLAs analysed is Rs.1.79 crores, 39 INC MLAs analysed is Rs.78.30 lakhs, 24 CPI(M) MLAs analysed is Rs.43.40 lakhs, six BJP MLAs analysed is Rs.1.32 crores and three Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) MLAs have average assets of Rs.80.34 lakhs," the report read.
According to the study, all the top three MLAs with the highest assets— Samir Chakraborty (more than Rs. 40 cr), Jakir Hossain (over Rs. 28 cr), and Javed Ahmed Khan (more than Rs. 17 cr)— are from the ruling Trinamool Congress.
On the other hand, two CPI-M MLAs, Sk Ibrahim Ali (Rs. 49,730) and Ajit Ray (Rs. 1,24,797), and AITC MLA from Nabadwip, Pundarikakshya Saha (Rs. 75,423), have been listed in the report as the sitting MLAs with the lowest assets.
Analysing the educational backgrounds of Bengal's sitting MLAs, the study stated that 92 (33 pc) MLAs had declared their educational qualification to be between 8th pass and 12th pass while 187 (66 pc) MLAs had declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above, and two MLAs were diploma holders and one MLA was just literate.
(West Bengal Legislative Assembly image credit: www.wikipedia.org)