Business Standard
New Delhi

The number of MLAs with  has declined in the Assembly, thanks to the Arvind Kejriwal-led  (AAP). According to a study by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the number of MLAs with criminal cases against them has come down from 43 per cent in 2008 to 36 per cent — 25 of 70 —in 2013.

While three of the 28 AAP MLAs (11 per cent) have criminal cases, BJP has 17 out of 31 (55 per cent) and Congress has two out of eight (25 per cent).

The three AAP  with criminal cases are Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Rajesh Garg Rohiniwala, who has won from north-west Delhi’s Rohini constituency. The three of them together have 11 cases against them. Most of the cases are related to obstructing a public servant from performing his duty, rioting and defamation. Kejriwal also has three charges for “rioting, armed with [a] deadly weapon”.

Interestingly, Rohiniwala is charged with an offence described as “possession of Indian coin by person who knew it to be altered when he became possessed thereof”.

In October, Kejriwal had reacted strongly to reports that among the five states scheduled for polls, Delhi had the highest percentage of candidates with criminal cases. He had then said he would never field candidates with criminal cases.

The average asset of an MLA, however, has increased from Rs 2.94 crore in 2008 to Rs 10.83 crore in 2013.

The study said 97 per cent of the BJP’s, 88 per cent of the Congress’ and 43 per cent of the AAP’s MLAs had assets of over Rs 1 crore. Overall, 73 per cent MLAs  —  51 of  70 — were those with assets of over Rs 1 crore. In 2008, 69 per cent of MLAs had assets of over Rs 1 crore.

The average asset of 31 BJP MLAs was Rs 12.5 crore, AAP’s 28 MLAs had average assets of Rs 1.82 crore, and eight MLAs of the Congress had assets of Rs 10.25 crore.

The average asset of an MLA in the Delhi this year’s was Rs 10.83 crore, while in 2008 it was Rs 2.94 crore.

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