57 Gujarat MLAs face criminal cases; 134 crorepatis
Based on the candidates’ affidavits, which has been analysed by the Gujarat Election Watch, as many as 57 newly elected MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly have criminal cases against them while 134 MLAs are crorepati. "In the new assembly, 57 members or 31% have declared criminal cases against them out of which 24 are facing serious cases such as murder, rape and attempt to murder," Prof Jagdeep Chhokar of the Gujarat Election Watch said.
"Chhotubhai Vasava of JD(U), Amit Shah, Shanker Chaudhary and Jetha Bharwad of BJP and Jasubhai Barad of Congress are the members facing the most serious cases in the new assembly," he added.
Vasava is facing more than 15 cases of dacoity, murder, attempt to murder while Shah is accused in sensational fake encounter of gangster Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati.
Bharwad faces charges in a rape case that dates back to the time he worked as a police constable, before he became a lawmaker in 1998.
According to Chhokar, in the last assembly, 26% members were criminals, which have increased to 31% in the newly elected house.
Among the 134 crorepati MLAs are 86 (out of 115) from the BJP and 43 (out of 61) from the Congress.
“Average asset for every BJP MLA is R5.82 crore while for every Congress MLA, average asset is R12.36 crore,” Chhokar said.
Modi from UP as PM candidate?
After Narendra Modi's hat-trick in Gujarat, the RSS and some sections of the BJP reportedly want him to be fielded as the "PM candidate" from Lucknow — where former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was elected MP 5 times — in the next Lok Sabha polls. Adding fuel to these speculations is a hoarding outside the state BJP office with pictures of Modi and Vajpayee. The party's state chief Laxmikant Bajpai denied any knowledge about this, but Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon, a Vajpayee protégé, said, "It would be nice. I would back him.”