The Statesman
New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 18 MAY: The West Bengal Assembly has the highest number of members with pending criminal cases even as 31 per cent of newly-elected members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) in the five states have declared criminal cases pending against them.

As per the report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), of the 820 MLAs analysed in the new Assemblies of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, 257 (31 per cent) have criminal cases pending against them as per their affidavits submitted with nomination before election.

Of these, 133 MLAs (of the above 257) have declared serious IPC charges like murder, attempt to murder, robbery, extortion and theft against them.

While the West Bengal Assembly has the highest number of MLAs with pending criminal cases (102), Puducherry (9) has the lowest number of such MLAs.

A total of 268 MLAs (33 per cent of the total MLAs analysed) in the five Assemblies are crorepatis (millionaires). While Puducherry has the highest percentage of crorepati MLAs (63 per cent), the West Bengal Assembly has the lowest percentage of crorepatis (16 per cent).

In all the five Assemblies, AIADMK member in Tamil Nadu Mr A Narayanan has the most assets valued at about Rs 103 crore. The CPI-M member in West Bengal Mr Gouranga Chatterjee has the least assets of Rs 36,000. A total of 824 constituencies went to poll in Assam (126), Kerala (140), Puducherry (30), Tamil Nadu (234) and West Bengal (294) in the just concluded Assembly elections.

The ADR and NEW, a nationwide campaign comprising more than 1200 NGOs and other citizen-led organisations, have been working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in India.

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