During their five-year tenure, they did not ask a single question; 49 of them are from ruling party.

Members of Karnataka Election watch at a press meet in Bangalore on Friday.

A study by Karnataka Election Watch (KEW) has revealed that as many as 65 MLAs from major political parties in the state legislature assembly have not bothered to ask even a single question in their 5 year term that has just ended.

The study explains that 49 BJP legislators, 11 Congress members and five independents remained tightlipped in the assembly from 2008 to 2013.

Speaking with reporters on Friday, KEW President Trilochan Sastri further stated that, the maximum number of questions (401) was asked by MLA UT Khader of Congress from Mangalore constituency followed by Eshwara Bhimanna Khandre of Congress from Bhalki constituency who asked 354 questions. N A Haris of Shantinagar constituency asked 331 questions.

Among the BJP legislators, Shimoga Rural constituency MLA KG Kumaraswamy asked the highest number of questions - 275 questions and among the JD(S) legislators, CB Sureshbabu from Chikkanayakanahalli (JD-S) asked the highest, 152. The study also states that the total number of questions asked by all MLAs was 8,571. The BJP MLAs’ share was 2,230 (26%), Congress - 4,538 (53%) and JD(S) MLAs raised 1,731 (20%) questions.  Eight independent MLA’s asked 72 (1%) questions.

Surprisingly the study says that leader of the opposition Siddaramaiah raised only three questions and former minister V Srinivasprasad did not ask any question at all.

Criminal cases
The election watchdog maintained that 40 candidates fielded by the Congress and BJP parties this time had criminal cases against them, as per their affidavits filed in the previous assembly elections. The two parties have announced a total of 317 candidates in their first list.

Of the 194 candidates fielded by the BJP and Congress, 113 are crorepatis. The crorepatis include 44 BJP and 69 Congress party. Among the crorepathis, Govindarajnagar Congress MLA Priyakrishna has declared highest assets of `797 crores followed by the former minister RV Deshapande of Congress (Rs145 crore) followed by M Krishnappa, also of Congress (Rs129 crores) and NA Haris declared Rs85.34 crores.The highest asset among the BJP candidates is with K R Pura MLA Nandish Reddy with Rs36 crores. The least impressive filing is by Ramanath Rai, who declared Rs1.71 lakh.

According to available data, 24 BJP candidates and 16 from the Congress have 16 candidates who have declared criminal cases against them. As many as 16 candidates  - 10 from the BJP and six from the Congress - have revealed they have serious criminal charges pending against them, according to their last submitted affidavit. The cases include murder and kidnapping.  

Minister Balachandra Jarakiholi has declared one case related to murder, attempt to murder, Congress MLA Satish Jarakiholi mentioned one case charged with murder, kidnapping and attempt to murder. Eshwara Bhimanna Khandre of the Congress declared four criminal cases relating to murder, attempt to murder. 

The study, however, mentions that some of the cases against candidates may have been withdrawn after 2008. Similarly, additional cases may also have been filed. The study said the complete data will be released after all nominations are filed.

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