At least 15 out of 119 MLAs in Assam have pending criminal cases, of which 11 are serious in nature, says a report prepared by Assam Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), two organisations working for electoral reforms in the country.

The organisations analysed the affidavits submitted by 119 of 126 MLAs before the 2016 Assembly elections and prepared the report. Seven MLA seats are lying vacant at present.

The report, which was released on Monday said that three MLAs had pending criminals cases related to murder and another was of an attempt to murder.

The ruling BJP had a maximum of seven MLAs (12%) with pending criminal cases followed by five from Opposition Congress, two from All India United Democratic Front and one Independent (AIUDF).

The criminal cases pending against six out of 59 BJP MLAs were of serious in nature, three from Congress and two from AIUDF.

The report said that the number of MLAs with pending criminal cases increased from 7 in 2006 to 15 in 2016. Similarly, the number of MLAs with serious criminal cases also increased to 10 in 2016 from 5 in 2006.

The report was released ahead of Assembly elections slated in April-May. Although candidates with pending criminal cases are allowed to contest elections till they are convicted, many in Assam urged the political parties not to give tickets to candidates with pending criminal cases for democratic reforms and improve governance in the state.

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