In both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the number of MLAs facing criminal cases has increased successively since 2008. So has the number of MLAs who have declared assets worth Rs 1 crore or more in their respective affidavits, according to an analysis done by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) with Madhya Pradesh Election Watch and Chhattisgarh Election Watch respectively.
Among Madhya Pradesh’s 230 newly elected MLAs, 94 (2 in every 5) declared criminal cases they were facing. Among Chhattisgarh’s 90 MLAs, 24 (1 in 4) have cases pending against them. In Madhya Pradesh, 6 MLAs have declared cases relating to attempt to murder, 1 has declared a murder case, and 3 have declared cases relating to crime against women. In Chhattisgarh, 1 MLA has declared a case relating to attempt to murder. The proportion of Madhya Pradesh MLAs facing cases has risen from 26% in 2008 to 41% in 2018, and that of such MLAs from Chhattisgarh from 13% in 2008 to 27% in 2018.
In terms of wealth declared, 4 in 5 MLAs of MP (187) and 3 in 4 of Chhattisgarh (68) are crorepatis. In MP, the rise in crorepati MLAs has been progressive (40% in 2008, 70% in 2013, 81% in 2018). In Chhattisgarh, the rise was more drastic in one 5-year span than in the next (from 35% to 74% to 76%). The highest declarations in 2018 were by BJP’s Sanjay Satyendra Pathak (Rs 226 crore) in MP and Congress’s T S Singh Deo (Rs 500 crore) in Chhattisgarh.
An earlier ADR analysis (reported in The Indian Express last week) found that out of Mizoram’s 40 newly elected MLAs, two — both of the Mizo National Front (MNF) — had declared criminal cases in their affidavits. Of the 40, 90% (36) had declared assets worth Rs 1 crore or more, with the highest declaration (Rs 44.75 crore) made by Robert Romawia Royte of the MNF.
Tip for Reading List | Climate change & extreme events
At a meeting of American Geophysical Union last week, scientists reported their findings that 16 extreme weather events in 2017 would not have been possible without human-caused climate change. Among these extreme events were floods in Bangladesh, China and South America; a months-long heat wave in the Tasman Sea beginning in November 2017; and droughts in East Africa and some US states. One study, of wildfires in Australia, was inconclusive on whether climate change influenced the event. The findings were also published online in a series of studies in a special issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. These can be read online at http://www.ametsoc.org/index.cfm/ams/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/explaining-extreme-events-from-a-climate-perspective/.
The findings include:
Flooding: Extreme, 6-day pre-monsoon rainfall that inundated northeast Bangladesh was made up to 100% more likely by climate change. Climate change has made chances of the extreme rain that collapsed thousands of houses in southeastern China in June 2017 twice as likely. Peru’s flooding rains of March 2017 were influenced by a natural cycle of warm coastal waters, but human-caused climate change on top of that made such extremes at least 1.5 times more likely.
Heat: Climate change has made the chances of heatwaves in the Euro-Mediterranean region that are at least as hot as 2017’s three times more likely than they were in 1950. The chance of such a heatwave recurring is now 10% in any given year. Heatwaves like the record-breaking 2017 event in central and eastern China were once rare. They are now one-in-five-year events due to climate change.
Drought: Climate change made the 2017 Northern Great Plains drought 1.5 times more likely by shifting the balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration of soil moisture.
Ocean-driven events: Scientists found that the record sea surface temperatures in the Tasman Sea in 2017 and 2018 were virtually impossible without global warming. Extremely warm sea surface temperatures off the coast of Africa doubled the probability of 2017’s East Africa drought. Record-low Arctic sea ice due to climate change influenced record-breaking precipitation deficits across a large part of western Europe in December 2016.
Source: American Meteorological Society