Times of India
Abhay Singh

While women took the spotlight winning around 65% of the posts of chief councillors of local urban bodies in the 2022 Bihar municipal elections, they also figured among the top three richest chief councillors.

This came to light in the survey and analysis done by the Bihar Election Watch (BEW) wing of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which released its report on Saturday. The report has been prepared on the basis of affidavits filed before State Election Commission (SEC) by 214 of the 229 winning chief councillors.

Incidentally, 40 of 214 chief councillors have criminal charges against them, with 27 facing charges in serious offences, two figuring in murder cases, six in attempt to murder, and two face charges related to violence against women.

As per the ADR findings, Usha Devi Agrawal, chief councillor of Katihar Municipal Corporation, had movable and immovable assets worth Rs 93 crore.

The next two chief councillors in terms of their net worth are Kumari Archana of Muzaffarpur Pashchimi Nagar Panchayat having assets worth Rs 41 crore, and Garima Devi Sikariya of Bettiah Municipal Corporation owning assets worth Rs 40 crore.

Three chief councillors having lowest assets are Baldev Das (Rs 51,000) of Wazirganj Nagar Panchayat in Gaya district and Rohit Manjhi (Rs 1.30 lakh) of Shekhopursarai Nagar Panchayat in Sheikhpura district, as well as Alodhani Devi (Rs 1.38 lakh) of Nalanda Nagar Panchayat (Rajgir) in Nalanda district.

Further, of the 214 chief councillors, the assets of 32 are in the range of Rs 5 crore and more, 30 in the range of Rs 2 crore and 5 crore, 86 in the range of Rs 50 lakh and 2 crore, 45 in the range of Rs 10 lakh and 50 lakh, and 21 others in the range of less than Rs 10 lakh.

However, 78 of them have graduate qualification, one holds diploma degree and 74 are fifth to 12 pass, while 57 are just literate and four illiterate.

Further, chief councillors are young, with 96 of them in 21 to 40 years age group and 112 in the age group of 40 to 70 years.

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