Image Credit: Amar Ujala
As the general elections are approaching, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the election watchdog has released a report on March 28, which unveiled the assets owned by the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) and criminal charges against them.
ADR, an NGO aimed at electoral reforms, analysed self-sworn affidavits of 521 MPs out of 543 MPs elected to power in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The report stated that as many as 430 MPs or 83% of the total of 521 members are “crorepatis”. According to the report, the average assets per sitting MP for Lok Sabha 2014 elections are Rs 14.72 crore. On the basis of party, 85% of the BJP MPs (227), 82% of Congress MPs (29), 78% of AIADMK MPs and 65% of Trinamool Congress MPs have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. Shockingly, the highest assets held by an MP was from Telugu Desam Party (TDP). MP Jayadev Galla of TDP declared assets of worth Rs 688 crore, whereas the lowest assets of Rs 34,000 were declared by Sumedhanand Saraswati, BJP MP from Rajasthan.
96 sitting MPs have declared liabilities of Rs 1 crore and more than 14 of them have declared liabilities of Rs 10 crore and above. Shockingly, Srinivas Kesineni has declared liabilities of Rs 71 crore against the assets worth Rs 128 crore.
Criminal cases against MPs
What is more worrying is the fact that people who are sitting MPs and are elected by us have serious criminal cases against them. The report stated that 10 members of Lok Sabha have accepted that they have murder-related charges against them. Of these, four are from the BJP, and one each from Lok Janshakti Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCO), Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Swabhimanu Paksha, and one Independent.
There are 14 MPs who have declared cases of attempt to murder. Out of these, eight MPs are from the ruling party, one each from NCP, RJD, Shiv Sena, TMC, Congress, and Swabhimani Paksha.
The NGO through its report proffered that as many as 174 (33%) of the total current sitting MPs in Lok Sabha have declared criminal cases against them before 2014 Lok Sabha elections whereas, 106 of the MPs have declared serious criminal cases which includes attempts to murder, kidnapping, communal disharmony, and crime against women. On the basis of parties – 92 BJP members, 45 Congress members, 6 AIADMK members, 15 Shivsena members and 34 TMC members have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, reported NDTV.
Mr Akdu Take
From this report, one can understand that people sitting in the Parliament are mostly rich, which indicates that people with money have more chances of winning an election. A representative of people’s voice should hail from all the class and not be contained from a particular class.
Also, criminals in politics is a problem which we as citizens need to address. As our representatives have consistently failed to deliver a parliament free of criminals. These Lok Sabha elections, we all should pledge to vote candidates with a clean background.