THERE IS a fall in the number of MLAs with criminal cases as well as in the number of crorepartis compared to the 2012 Assembly election, revealed affidavits of newly elected members. According to an analysis by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), 16 MLAs have criminal cases compared to 19 in 2012 while 81 per cent of the chosen MLAs are crorepatis compared to 88 per cent in 2012.
The report was released in Ludhiana on Wednesday and the analysis also revealed that out of the newly elected MLAs, 45 have educational qualifications ranging from Class V to Class XII while 60 MLAs are graduates or above.
Ajit Singh is the SAD MLA chosen from Shahkot constituency of Jalandhar who is a Class V pass as per the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission. Six MLAs are middle pass, 21 have done matriculation while 17 have passed Class XII.
The analysis says that though the number of crorepatis has fallen by 7 per cent compared to 2012, the average assets of SAD, BJP and Congress candidates have increased. While assets of Congress candidates were Rs 10 crore on an average in 2012 as per the affidavit, they have now increased to Rs 16 crores in 2017, said Jaskirat Singh of ADR. “The SAD candidates’ average asset was Rs 16 crores in 2012 compared to Rs 20 crores in 2017 while BJP candidates’ average asset is Rs 4 crores in 2017 compared to Rs 3 crores in 2012,” he added.
Rana Gurjit Singh, the Congress MLA from Kapurthala, is the richest candidate having asssets worth Rs 169 crores followed by Sukhbir Singh Badal of SAD with Rs 102 crores while AAP’s Sukhpal Khaira stands at number 3 with assets worth Rs 66 crores. However, Navjot Singh Sidhu of the Congress has shown the highest income ofRs 9 crores followed by Aman Arora, the AAP candidate from Sunam, who earned only Rs 4 crore while the richest candidate, Rana Gurjit Singh, is at number 3 in terms of income at Rs 2 crores.
A partywise analysis of crorepati candidates showed that 67 of the 77 Congress MLAs (87 per cent) are crorepatis while all the 18 SAD-BJP MLAs, (100 per cent) are crorepatis. In AAP, 8 (40 per cent) out of 20 MLAs are crorepatis and both Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLAs (100 per cent) are crorepatis, revealed the affidavits.
Apart from the rich candidates, AAP’s Rupinder Ruby elected from Bathinda Rural has the lowest assets worth Rs 1 lakh followed by AAP MLA Kulwant Pandori from Sangrur with Rs 2 lakh and the third MLA, Primal Dhanaula of Mehal Kalan, is again from AAP. He has assets worth Rs 3 lakh only.
Though Rana Gurjit has been mentioned as the richest candidate, he is on top in terms of liabilities as well which are worth Rs 81 crores followed by SAD’s Sukhbir, whose liabilities are worth Rs 30 crores. AAP’s MLA Aman Arora’s liabilities are worth Rs 15 crores, said Jaskirat Singh. Again, of the 16 MLAs with criminal cases, nine are from Congress, four from AAP, 1 from SAD and both MLAs of LIP, revealed the ADR report. The names of candidates, who have declared their criminal cases in affidavits, are Balwinder Singh Bains, Simarjit Singh Bains (both from LIP), Sanjay Talwar, Gurpreet Kangar, Sukhpal Bhullar, Captain Amarinder Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu and others.