Source: 
The Tribune
Author: 
Date: 
11.01.2022
City: 
Chandigarh

Candidates with muscle and money power have emerged victorious more than the others in Punjab elections since 2004, says an exhaustive report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Against the average assets of Rs 3.5 crore declared by the candidates since 2004, the average assets of the elected MPs and MLAs were at Rs 11.42 crore, thus showing the influence of money.

The organisations have analysed election affidavits of 3,547 candidates and 413 MLAS/MPs filed during Vidhan Sabha and parliamentary elections in Punjab between 2004 and 2019 with the Election Commission of India.

As per the report, 385 (11%) of the total 3,547 candidates and 69 (17%) of 413 MPs/MLAs declared criminal cases against themselves since 2004. Of these 223 (6%) candidates and 32 (8%) MPs or MLAs had serious criminal cases against them.

The average assets declared by these candidates were Rs 3.5 crore and the average assets of the elected MPs and MLAs were Rs 11.42 crore.

Talking about the findings, Jaskirat Singh, trustee of ADR, said, "Analysis of the data has revealed that money power and muscle power have a large bearing on the outcome of the election results in Punjab. The average assets of 385 candidates with declared criminal cases are Rs 6.62 crore, of that with serious criminal cases are Rs 7.27 crore while they are Rs 18 crore if we look at winning MPs and MLAs with criminal cases and Rs 26.69 crore for MPs and MLAs with serious criminal cases."

Providing party-wise breakdown, the report shows that 56 (14%) out of 406 candidates who have contested on INC ticket since 2004 have declared criminal cases against themselves. Also, 71 (22%) out of 325 candidates who have contested on SAD ticket since 2004, 8 (10%) out of 83 BJP candidates, 15 (11%) out of 142 AAP candidates, 5 (45%) out of 11 Lok Insaaf Party candidates and 104 (9%) out of 1,175 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases.

It shows that 24 (6%) out of 406 candidates who have contested on INC ticket since 2004 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves; 33 (10%) out of 325 candidates who have contested on SAD ticket since 2004, 3 (4%) out of 83 BJP candidates, 10 (7%) out of 142 AAP candidates, 5 (45%) out of 11 Lok Insaaf Party candidates and 70 (6%) out of 1,175 Independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases.

About party-wise criminal cases of MPs/MLAs it shows that 29 (15%) out of 195 MPs/MLAs elected on INC ticket since 2004 have declared criminal cases against themselves; 29 (20%) out of 142 MPs/MLAs elected on SAD ticket since 2004, 4 (10%) out of 42 BJP MPs/MLAS, 3 (13%) out of 24 AAP MPs/MLAs, 2 (100%) out of 2 Lok Insaaf Party MPs/MLAs and 2 (25%) out of 8 Independent MPs/MLAs have declared criminal cases.

About party-wise serious criminal cases of MPs/MLAs it shows that 14 (7%) out of 195 MPs/MLAs elected on INC ticket since 2004 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves; 13 (9%) out of 142 MPs/MLAs elected on SAD ticket since 2004, 2 (5%) out of 42 BJP MPs/MLAs, 1 (4%) out of 24 AAP MPs/MLAs and 2 (100%) out of 2 Lok Insaaf Party MPs/MLAs have declared serious criminal cases.

Talking about party-wise financials of candidates, it shows that among the national parties, since 2004, average assets of 406 candidates from INC are Rs 10.86 crore while 83 BJP candidates have declared average assets of Rs 17.82 crore. Among the regional parties of Punjab average assets of 325 SAD candidates are Rs.9.33 crore and average assets of 1,175 Independent candidates are Rs 1.05 crore.

About financials of MPs/MLAs party-wise, it shows that among the national parties, since 2004, average assets of 195 MPs/MLAs from INC are  Rs 13.59 crore while 42 BJP MPs/MLAs have declared average assets of Rs 7.18 crore. Among the regional parties of Punjab the average assets of 142 SAD MPs/MLAs are Rs 11.33 crore and average assets of 8 Independent MPs/MLAs are Rs 3.75 crore.

Talking about winnability of candidates with tainted past, Parvinder Singh Kittna of Punjab Election Watch said, "The analysis of winnability of clean versus tainted candidates is very interesting. The report shows that there are only 11% chances of winning an election for those with a clean record which is 18% for those with criminal record."

On gender the report shows that out of the 3,547 candidates analysed (who have contested elections since 2004), only 256 or 7% were women.

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