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34% MLAs crorepati, 37% with criminal cases: An analysis of the outgoing West Bengal Assembly

Elections in the state will be held in eight phases, beginning on March 27 and ending on April 29. One of the constituencies going to polls in the second phase is Nandigram from where TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to contest.

March 08, 2021 / 02:15 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

West Bengal is getting ready to witness the upcoming assembly elections, which is poised to be a stiff contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Elections in the state will be held in eight phases, beginning on March 27 and ending on April 29. One of the constituencies going to polls in the second phase is Nandigram from where TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to contest.

Results will be declared on May 2 along with the three other poll-bound states – Assam, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu -- and the union territory of Puducherry.

As the state is ready to elect a new government, take a look at an analysis on sitting MLAs based on their financial assets, criminal cases, educational qualifications, and gender representation, published by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

This analysis is based on the affidavit submitted by the candidates prior to the 2016 assembly elections and bye-elections conducted thereafter. It takes a view of the party they fought with and does not consider the defections

Close

The report has analysed details of 282 out of 294 sitting MLAs, as 10 seats are vacant in the current assembly and two MLAs -- Sudarsan Ghosh Dostidar of AITC and Ali Imran Ramz of AIFB -- are not analysed due to unclear affidavits available on the website of the Election Commission of India.

Crorepati legislators

Out of the 282 sitting MLAs analysed, 97 were crorepati, says the ADR report.

Going party-wise, the data reveals that TMC had 78 crorepatis out of 205 elected legislators. For Congress it was 13 out of 39 sitting MLAs, Communist Party of India (Marxist) 2 out of 24; Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2 out of 6; and the rest two were from Revolutionary Socialist Party and Independent.

TMC MLA from Taldangra constituency, Samir Chakraborty had the highest declared assets worth more than Rs 40 crore (Rs 40,59,23,000). He was followed by another TMC MLA Jakir Hossain, whose total assets amounted to over Rs 28 crore (Rs 28,04,85,702).

Javed Ahmed Khan of TMC had the highest declared liability worth more than Rs 30 crore (Rs 30,19,85,861).

The average assets per sitting MLA is Rs 1.49 crore. In terms of average assets, TMC tops the list with Rs 1.79 crore, while Congress, CPI(M), BJP and RSP had Rs 78.30 lakhs, Rs 43.40 lakhs, Rs 1.32 crores and Rs 80.34 lakhs respectively.

Criminal cases

In the current assembly, 104 out of 282 sitting MLAs analysed have declared criminal cases against themselves. This ran through party lines. This makes up around 37 percent of all the legislators.

Among 205 sitting TMC MLAs, 68 had criminal cases against them. This was against 20 out of 39 Congress MLAs, 11 out of 24 CPI(M) MLAs and 3 out of 6 BJP MLAs. Rest two were from CPI and independent.

Out of the 104 MLAs with criminal cases, 90 had declared serious charged against them. These included murder, attempt to murder, crime against women etc.

Among 205 sitting TMC MLAs, 61 had serious criminal cases against them. This was against 15 out of 39 Congress MLAs, 10 out of 24 CPI(M) MLAs and 3 out of 6 BJP MLAs. Rest one was independent.

Education

A total of 187 MLAs out of 282 sitting MLAs analysed had an educational qualification equivalent to graduate or above. This amounts to 66 percent of the legislators.

As many as 92 MLAs – 33 percent – declared their qualification to be between 8th pass and 12th pass. There was MLAs who were diploma holder and one MLA was just literate.

Age

Out of the analysed MLAs, 96 have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years while 185 MLAs have declared to be between 51 and 80 years. One MLA has declared his age as 91 years.

Gender representation

In the West Bengal, currentky ruled by a woman chief minister, only 15 percent of legislators are female. This means out of 282 MLAS analysed in this report, 241 are men while only 41 are women.
Somya Lohia

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