Business Standard

The National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 276 candidates and 85  who changed parties during the period 2017 to 2022 and recontested elections held during the recent Assembly elections 2022 in five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, and Manipur.

This data analyses how much change these candidates reported in . Many have reported that their  dropped in the five years that they represented their constituencies — but they still decided to recontest the election though from a different party.

But some reported a big increase in . This could be because of a business windfall, or other reasons unconnected with holding office, or the electoral exercise.

However, based on this data (of which only an illustrative sample is shown here)  has made

number of recommendations. Some of these relate to curbing defections through a variety of mechanisms. But some relate to the income data of candidates: Including cross-verification of assets of defecting MPs and  and their immediate family members (spouses/children/other dependants). They could have defected or changed/joined a particular political party, where it is seen that there is a dubious multiplication of assets of an MP/MLA after making the switch.

The organisation also suggests that the practice of creating a number of political offices equivalent to the position or privileges of a minister be ended.

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