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Money, muscle power played big role in poll outcomes in Punjab since 2004: ADR analysis

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch have analysed the election affidavits of 3,547 candidates and 413 MLAs/MPs filed during the Vidhan Sabha and Parliament elections in Punjab.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh |
January 11, 2022 8:18:26 pm
Members of ADR and Punjab Election Watch during the press conference in Chandigarh.

Members of ADR and Punjab Election Watch have analysed election affidavits of 3547 candidates and 413 MLAs/MPs filed during Vidhan Sabha and Parliament elections in Punjab. These were filed between 2004 and 2019 with the Election Commission of India.

Analysis of the data on candidates, MPs and MLAs in Punjab elections since 2004 has revealed that money and muscle power have played a major role in the outcome of election results in the state.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch have analysed the election affidavits of 3,547 candidates and 413 MLAs/MPs filed during the Vidhan Sabha and Parliament elections in Punjab. These were filed between 2004 and 2019 with the Election Commission of India.

According to Jaskirat Singh, a trustee of ADR, “Analysis of the data has revealed that money power and muscle power have a large bearing on the outcome of the election results in Punjab”.

Sharing the results with the media on Tuesday, they revealed that the average assets of 385 candidates with declared criminal cases were worth Rs 6.62 crore. The assets of 223 candidates with declared serious criminal cases were worth Rs 7.27 crore on an average, while that of 69 MPs/MLAs with declared criminal cases were worth Rs 18 crore. The figure was Rs 26.69 crore for 32 MPs/MLAs with declared serious criminal cases.

As per the report, 385 (11%) of the total 3,547 candidates and 69 (17%) of 413 MPs/MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves since 2004. Of these, 223 (6%) candidates and 32 (8%) of the 413 MPs/MLAs had serious criminal cases against themselves.

The average assets declared by these candidates were worth Rs 3.5 crore and the average assets of the elected MPs and MLAs were at Rs 11.42 crore.

Providing party-wise breakdown, the report shows that 56 (14%) of the 406 candidates who have contested on INC tickets since 2004 have declared criminal cases against themselves. As many as 71 (22%) of the 325 candidates who have contested on SAD tickets since 2004, 8 (10%) of the 83 BJP candidates, 15 (11%) of the 142 AAP candidates, 5 (45%) of the 11 Lok Insaaf Party candidates and 104 (9%) of the 1,175 Independent candidates have also declared criminal cases against themselves.

It further shows that 24 (6%) of the 406 INC candidates since 2004 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, while 33 (10%) of the 325 candidates who have contested on SAD tickets since 2004, 3 (4%) of the 83 BJP candidates, 10 (7%) of the 142 AAP candidates, 5 (45%) of the 11 Lok Insaaf Party candidates and 70 (6%) of the 1,175 Independent candidates have also declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

Data on party-wise criminal cases of MPs/MLAs shows that 29 (15%) of the 195 MPs/MLAs who contested for the Congress since 2004 have declared criminal cases against themselves. As many as 29 (20%) of the 142 MPs/MLAs elected on SAD tickets since 2004, 4 (10%) of the 42 BJP MPs/MLAs, 3 (13%) of the 24 AAP MPs/MLAs, both 2 (100%) of the 2 Lok Insaaf Party MPs/MLAs and 2 (25%) of the 8 Independent MPs/MLAs have declared criminal cases.

Party-wise serious criminal cases data of MPs/MLAs shows that 14 (7%) out of 195 MPs/MLAs elected on INC tickets since 2004 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, 13 (9%) out of 142 MPs/MLAs elected on SAD tickets since 2004, 2 (5%) out of 42 BJP MPs/MLAs, 1 (4%) out of 24 AAP MPs/MLAs and 2 (100%) out of 2 Lok Insaaf Party MPs/MLAs have declared serious criminal cases.

Analysis of financial details of the candidates shows that among the national parties, since 2004, the average assets owned by the 406 candidates from the Congress is worth Rs 10.86 crore while 83 BJP candidates have declared average assets worth Rs 17.82 crore. Among the regional parties in Punjab, the average assets owned by the 325 SAD candidates is worth Rs 9.33 crore, and the average assets of the 1,175 Independent candidates is worth Rs 1.05 crore.

On the financials of MPs/MLAs party-wise, it shows that among the national parties the average assets of 195 MPs/MLAs from the Congress is Rs 13.59 crore while 42 BJP MPs/MLAs have declared average assets of Rs 7.18 crore. Among the regional parties, the average assets of 142 SAD MPs/MLAs is Rs 11.33 crore and that of the 8 Independent MPs/MLAs is Rs 3.75 crore.

Talking about the winnability of tainted candidates, Parvinder Singh Kittna of Punjab Election Watch said, “It is very interesting that in the analysis of the winnability of clean vs tainted candidates, the report shows that there are only 11% chances of winning an election for those with a clean record, which is 18% for those with criminal records.”

On gender equality, the report shows that out of the 3,547 candidates analysed since 2004, only 256 or 7% were women.

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