Source: 
The Financial Express
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Backstage-at-the-hustings/1202334
Date: 
03.12.2013
City: 
New Delhi

While the polling in four states—Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram—for their respective Assemblies is over, the national capital, Delhi, is set to record its mandate on December 4. For the political parties, these polls would be important indicators of what the national mood could be before the general elections in 2014. While voting decisions are made considering a number of factors—from pre-election sops announced by incumbent governments to the promises of change made by opposition parties—state-wise data, including those for Delhi, collated by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the candidate mix offers interesting insight—on the candidates' criminal background (or the lack thereof) and the assets of candidates (including the growth in assets of the outgoing MLAs, elected in 2008, who are in the fray again), among others.

While Mizoram has the least number of candidates with criminal cases, Madhya Pradesh (MP) has the most. Mizoram also has the highest number of candidates with declared assets of over-R1 crore (53% of the total) while MP, for which only 686 candidates from a total of 2,583 have been analysed by ADR, follows closely with 51%. However, the wealth of outgoing MLAs seeking re-election swelled the maximum in Delhi over the last five years (2008-13)—average growth in their wealth was R7.53 crore, an increase of 259%. Such wealth grew the least by percentage in Rajasthan (the assets of sitting MLAs contesting again saw an average increase of R2.85 crore, up by 139% from their wealth in 2008) while it grew the least (in amount) in Mizoram (an average of R1.79 crore, up by 217%).

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