Thiruvananthapuram: Among the winning candidates to the 15th legislative assembly, 71% have criminal cases registered against them while 27% have serious criminal charges. According to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, on the basis of affidavits submitted to Election Commision of India, 55% of winning candidates are crorepatis and their average asset is Rs 3.12 crore.
Of the winners, two are facing charges of murder (IPC section-302), while three candidates declared cases of attempt to murder (IPC section-307) against them. The newly-elected MLAs facing murder charges include T I Madhusudanan, CPM candidate from Payyanur, and former minister M M Mani who won on CPM ticket from Udumbanchola. Both of them are also facing charges under IPC section 307 too. Madhusudanan and Mani are facing three and one criminal cases, respectively. CPM MLA M Vijin, from Kalliasseri in Kannur, is facing 10 criminal cases, of which nine are of serious nature.

Among the major parties, 44 (75%) of 59 winning candidates from CPM, 20 (95%) of 21 winning candidates from INC, seven (41%) of 17 winners from CPI, 12 (86%) of 14 winners from IUML, three (60%) of five winning candidates from Kerala Congress (M) and four (67%) of six independent winners have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavit.
From the parties, 16 (27%) of 59 winners from CPM, 12 (57%) of 21 winners from INC, one (6%) of 17 winners from CPI, four (29%) of 14 winners from IUML and two (33%) out of six independent winning candidates declared in their affidavits that there are serious criminal cases against them.

The criteria for serious criminal cases include those in which the offence is non-bailable, penalty is five years or more imprisonment, is an electoral offence, offence relates to loss to the exchequer, offences including assault, murder, kidnap and rape-related, offences against women, etc. When compared to 2016, when the percentage of winners with criminal charges and serious criminal charges were 62% and 19%, respectively, in 2021, it has increased to 71% and 27%, respectively.
Three winners who declared highest income in their income tax returns include M Mukesh (Rs 77.14 lakh), V Abdurahiman (Rs 31 lakh) and P K Kunhalikutty (Rs 21 lakh). Party-wise, 24 of 59 winners from CPM (41%), 13 (62%) of 21 winners from Congress, 12 (86%) of 14 from IUML, all the five winners from KC(M) (100%), five of six independents (83%) and four of 17 candidates from CPI (24%) are crorepatis.
Winners from the other smaller parties, including JD(S), NCP, Kerala Congress (two winners each), Kerala Congress (Jacob), LokTantrik Janata Dal, Indian National League, National Secular Conference, Kerala Congress (B) and Janadhipatya Kerala Congress (one winner each) have all declared their assets above Rs 1 crore.

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