The newly constituted 30-member Assembly is as wealthy as its predecessor, but probably with a slightly higher record of trouble with the law and definitely a lot less gender diverse in composition.

The 15th Puducherry Legislative Assembly will have more members facing criminal charges than its predecessor with 43% of elected representatives self-declaring criminal cases as against 37% of legislators in the previous Assembly, an analysis of affidavits of the winning candidates by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) showed.

The ADR study also indicated that in terms of wealth, the new Assembly is almost identical to the previous House with 25 of the legislators falling in the crorepati category.

However, the new House is poorer in terms of gender parity with only one woman entering the Assembly as against four MLAs of the previous Assembly.

G. Nehru (Independent-Orleanpet) is the richest with assets to the tune of ₹43 crore, followed by Chief Minister-designate N. Rangasamy (₹38 crore) and BJP’s A. John Kumar (₹26 crore).

The ADR study found that 13 of the 30 winning candidates in the 2021 election have declared criminal cases against them — which is higher than the 11 representatives who had declared criminal cases after the 2016 election.

The 2021 Assembly also has six members who have declared serious criminal charges against them, such as attempt to murder and electoral violations. In 2016, only four winning candidates had similar grave charges against them.

The party-wise breakdown showed that four of the six BJP winners, three of the six DMK winners, three of the 10 AINRC winners and three of the six Independents had declared criminal cases in their affidavits while filing nomination for the April 6 election.

As far as serious charges are concerned, three DMK candidates and one candidate each from the BJP, AINRC and Independents fell in this category.

On the affluence front, the analysis showed that all six BJP candidates, both winners from Congress, nine of 10 candidates from the AINRC, three of six from DMK and five of six Independents had declared assets valued at over ₹1 crore.

Overall, while 16 candidates had assets of over ₹5 crore, six had assets in the range of ₹2 crore to ₹5 crore, five in the ₹50 lakh to ₹2 crore range and three in the less than ₹50 lakh category.

Among major parties, the average assets per winning candidate for the 10 AINRC candidates stood at ₹11.21 crore, six BJP candidates at ₹11.26 crore, two Congress candidates at ₹7.74 crore and six DMK candidates at ₹7.15 crore.

Only 17 possessed qualification of graduation and above, 11 were between 5th pass and 12th pass, one was a diploma holder and one was illiterate.

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