The Thaiger
Ravi Verma

Unveiling wealth and criminality among Rajya Sabha MPs: ADR's report

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) reveals that approximately 12% of the Rajya Sabha’s current Members of Parliament (MPs) are billionaires, with the largest proportion belonging to the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This analysis was conducted jointly by ADR and the National Election Watch (NEW), who scrutinised the criminal, financial, and other personal facets of 225 Rajya Sabha MPs out of a possible 233, with one seat empty.

Their examination highlighted that from Andhra Pradesh, 5 out of 11 MPs, constituting 45%, and 3 out of 7 MPs from Telangana, approximately 43%, are included in this billionaire category. In contrast, Maharashtra’s 19 MPs revealed a 16% representation, corresponding to three individuals with declared assets in excess of ₹100 crore. Additional states with notable billionaire MPs include Delhi (33%), Punjab (29%), Haryana (20%) and Madhya Pradesh (18%) respectively.

In terms of specific values, Telangana’s seven MPs collectively possess ₹5,596 crore in declared assets, while their Andhra Pradesh counterparts hold ₹3,823 crore in total. Uttar Pradesh also displays significant wealth amongst its elected officials – 30 MPs claim combined assets of ₹1,941 crore.

Criminal activities were also disclosed in this study, with about 33% (75 MPs) indicating criminal charges against themselves. In stark terms, this encompasses serious criminal actions for 41 MPs, about 18% of the analysed group. Furthermore, two MPs disclosed murder-related cases, while four have proclaimed charges related to violations against women.

Adding further clarity, one allegation of rape under IPC section 376 was declared by one Rajya Sabha sitting MP, K C Venugopal, from Rajasthan who is a member of the Congress. Approximately 27% (23 MPs) from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); 40% (12 MPs) from Congress; 31% (four MPs) from All India Trinamool Congress (AITC); 83% (five MPs) from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD); 80% (four MPs) from Communist Party of India (Marxist); 30% (three MPs) from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP); one-third (three MPs) from Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party; and two-thirds (two MPs) of the Nationalist Congress Party’s Rajya Sabha MPs have self-reported criminal charges, as evidenced in their personal affidavits.

This comprehensive poll audit reflects a worrying intersection between high net worth and criminality within India’s political landscape. While the veracity of these reported assets and crimes remains to be tested in court, the brazenness of their public declaration poses serious questions for the Indian electorate.

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