Study highlights increase in assets of MLAs re-contesting in Chhattisgarh polls
With the assembly election underway in Chhattisgarh, a study showed on Tuesday that the re-contesting MLAs have seen their assets rise by an average of Rs 1.37 crore or 13 per cent in the five years since they won last polls.
Citing the election affidavits of the 69 re-contesting MLAs in the Chhattisgarh polls, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said their declared average asset has risen to Rs 12.29 crore, from Rs 10.92 crore declared in 2013.
Giving party-wise details, the ADR study said the average assets of the 34 re-contesting MLAs from the BJP have almost doubled to Rs 4 crore. The average assets for the 30 re-contesting MLAs of the Congress are much higher at Rs 21 crore, though it has remained almost unchanged from the 2013 levels.
In case of Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J), there are three candidates who had won the 2013 elections as well and their average assets have risen by nearly 11 per cent to Rs 5 crore, the election-focused rights group said.
BSP's one re-contesting MLA saw a rise of 94 per cent in the average asset to Rs 3 crore, while the same for the lone Independent MLA has gone up by 21 per cent to Rs 8 crore, as per the study.
The assets taken into account include salary, rental income, agriculture income, as also income from business and investments, among others, of the candidate as well as that of the spouse, the ADR study showed.
While the first-phase voting took place on Monday for 18 assembly constituencies of the state, polling for the remaining 72 seats is scheduled for November 20.
The results would be declared on December 11.
In another report, the ADR said the second phase has 130 candidates (12 per cent) with criminal cases and 90 with serious criminal cases (9 per cent), including cases related to bribery, causing death by negligence, criminal intimidation, attempt to murder etc.
Releasing the results of its analysis of 1,057 out of 1,079 candidates in the second phase, the ADR also said there are 239 crorepati candidates (23 per cent), while the average asset of all candidates in the second phase is Rs 1.73 crore.
The ADR said it could not analyse the affidavits of 22 candidates.
Among major parties, the ADR said, 18 out of 72 candidates from the Congress, six out of 72 candidates from the BJP, 15 out of 46 candidates from the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, 17 out of 66 candidates from the AAP, four out of 30 candidates from Gondwana Gantantra Party and 36 out of 483 Independent candidates analysed have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
It further said, 11 candidates from the Congress, 13 from AAP, 14 from the JCC and 24 Independent candidates analysed have declared serious criminal cases against them.
There are 17 constituencies in the second phase having three or more candidates with declared criminal cases.
In terms of wealth, at least 69 have declared assets valued Rs 5 crore or more. Congress's T S Baba in Ambikapur constituency has the highest declared asset (over Rs 500 crore), as per the report.
Among crorepati candidates, the Congress has 53, BJP has 61, JCC has 35, AAP has 13 and the BSP has 12. Besides, three from Ambedkarite Party of India and 42 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, the ADR said.
At the same time, 19 candidates have declared zero assets.
Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for the Congress is Rs 11.8 crore, Rs 5.11 crore for the BJP, Rs 1.35 crore for the BSP and Rs 1.11 crore for AAP. The Independent candidates have an average asset of Rs 47.35 lakh.
At least 21 candidates have declared liabilities above Rs 1 crore, while 233 have not declared their PAN. Besides, 630 did not declare their income tax details.
Three candidates have total self-declared income of more than Rs 1 crore. A total of 61 candidates did not declare their source of income.
The ADR further said 599 (57 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th, while 386 candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.
A total of 36 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate. There are nine candidates who are illiterate while five have not given details of their educational qualification in their affidavit.
A total of 445 candidates have declared their age between 25-40 years, while 510 are between 41 to 60 years. There are 101 candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 70 years. One candidate has declared his age to be above 80 years.
Giving gender details candidates, the ADR said only 111 (11 per cent) female candidates are contesting in the second phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly election this year.
(With inputs from agencies.)