The outgoing Bihar assembly has 136 MLAs, over 55%, facing criminal cases & while 94 MLAs, nearly 39%, have serious criminal cases against them, said a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) & Bihar Election Watch released on Monday. Assembly elections in the state are due in Oct-Nov.

The report has brought to spotlight the Apex Court order passed in Feb 2020 which made it mandatory for all political parties to publicise, on their respective party websites, social media handles & in newspapers, the details of candidates with criminal background.

It also said that parties must explain the reasons for selecting the candidate & why someone without a criminal record was been selected instead.

The ADR report, which analysed the 2015 election affidavits of 240 sitting MLAs (three seats are vacant), said 11 MLAs had declared cases related to murder, 30 related to attempt to murder & 5 declared cases of crime against women, including one of rape.

This analysis is based on the affidavits submitted by the candidates before the 2015 assembly elections & bypolls conducted thereafter.

Party-wise, out of 80 MLAs of RJD, 45 (56%) had criminal cases, while 34 (49%) out of 69 MLAs from JD(U) had criminal cases against them.

JD(U)’s alliance partner in the NDA, the BJP, was not far behind, with 34 (63%) of its 54 MLAs facing criminal cases, followed by 14 (56%) out of 25 MLAs from Congress, two out of two (100%) of LJP, three (100%) out of 3 MLAs from CPI(ML)(L) & four (80%) out of five Independent MLAs.

The outgoing assembly had 160 (67%) crorepati MLAs, which works out to Rs 3.06 crore per MLA. Of these, 51 (74%) out of 69 MLAs are from JD(U), 51 (64%) of 80 MLAs are from RJD, 33 (61%) of 54 MLAs are from BJP, 17 (68%) of 25 MLAs from INC, 2 (100%) out of 2 MLAs from LJP, 1 (100%) of 1 MLA from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen & 5 (100%) out of 5 MLAs from Independent have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

The study reveals that “The average assets per MLA for 80 RJD lawmakers analysed is Rs 3.02 crore, Rs 2.79 crore for 69 JD(U) MLAs, Rs.2.38 crore for 54 BJP MLAs & Rs 4.36 crore for 25 Congress MLAs".

Similarly, 94 (39%) MLAs have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th pass & 12th pass while 134 (56%) MLAs have declared having an educational qualification of a graduate or above.

9 MLAs have declared in their affidavits that they are just literate.

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