Study of pre-poll affidavits from Panvel, Bhiwandi and Malegaon shows 18% face serious cases

Navi Mumbai: As many as as 107 new corporators in the Panvel City, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Malegaon Municipal Corporations have criminal backgrounds, of which 45 have serious offences registered against them, an analysis of their affidavits has revealed.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Maharashtra Election Watch have analysed the affidavits declared by 245 of the 252 corporators who contested the election from the 64 multi-member wards of the three municipal corporations. The elections were held on May 24.

They found that 62 (25%) of the winners have criminal cases against them, and a further 45 (18%) face criminal cases for serious offences like murder, attempt to murder and cheating.

The Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation has the highest number of criminal offenders of the three corporations, with 27 (31%) of the 88 corporators analysed facing criminal cases. This is followed by the Malegaon Municipal Corporation, with 18 (23%) of the 79 elected representatives analysed facing criminal cases, while in the Panvel City Municipal Corporation, the number is 17 (22% of the total 78 corporators).

The Bhiwandi-Nizampur civic body also leads in the number of winners involved in serious offences (21 croporators, 24%), followed by the Panvel and Malegaon civic bodies with 12 (15%) representatives each facing serious offences.

Money matters

Around 119 (49%) winners across the three civic bodies are crorepatis: 60 (77%) from the Panvel Municipal Corporation, 44 (50%) from Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation and 15 (19%) from the Malegaon Municipal Corporation.

The winner with the highest declared assets (₹95 crore) is Paresh Ram Thakur of the BJP, who won from Ward 19A of the Panvel Municipal Corporation.

Only 24 representatives have declared assets under ₹3 lakh: two from Panvel, five from Bhiwandi-Nizampur and 17 from the Malegaon civic body.

Education record

Meanwhile, 18 (7%) of the elected representatives have declared their educational qualification as illiterate, while 34 (14%) have studied till Class V, 63 (26%) till class VIII, 33 (14%) till Class X, and 40 (16%) till Class XII. As many as 29 (12%) are graduates, eight (3%) are graduate professionals and six (2%) are postgraduates.

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