*Devendra Fadnavis, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister, has 22 charges of rioting registered against him.
* Jitendra Ahwad—the only member of the legislative assembly (MLA) with a doctorate—of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has 15 criminal cases against him, including kidnapping.
* Of 20 women MLAs, seven face criminal charges; five face serious charges including crime against women.
* 50 MLAs, now supposed to work with government officers and uphold the law, are charged with assault against public servants.
The Maharashtra assembly elections are over, and the BJP has emerged the single largest party, riding a wave of public desire for change and progress.
Far from changing, the one thing set to worsen is the criminal record of the state’s new MLAs.
A report by New Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) mentioned that out of 2,336 candidates of various parties, 798 had criminal cases against them. An IndiaSpend analysis shows that out of the 288-member assembly, 165 members have criminal cases against them, which is 57%. The results of this election have thrown up the highest percentage of MLAs with declared criminal charges, as against 52% in 2009 and 46% in 2004.
Of 165 MLAs facing criminal charges, nearly 70% (115 MLAs) have serious criminal charges against them. Serious criminal charges include murder and attempt to murder, kidnapping, forgery and rioting.
Over the last few elections there has been an increase in the number of MLAs with serious charges, from 54 MLAs in 2004 to 115 in 2014.
Let us now look at the party-wise position:
BJP, which is the largest party with 122 seats, also has the highest number of MLAs with criminal charges at 74, which is 60% of its MLAs. It also has the highest number of MLAs facing serious criminal charges at 53 i.e. 43%. Second on the list is the Shiv Sena with 48 of its 63 MLAs (76%) facing criminal charges. The party also stands second with the number of MLAs facing serious criminal charges at 36 (57%).
Here is a look at the region-wise story:
Vidharbha has the highest number of MLAs (58%) facing criminal charges. Vidarbha is followed by the Konkan region, with 57% MLAs facing criminal charges. Khandesh has the highest number of MLAs with serious criminal cases against them (48%).
So, what are the kinds of serious crimes registered against MLAs in Maharashtra?
So, rioting is the most serious charge against MLAs, with cases against 81 representatives, followed by hurt/assault on public servant (50) and cheating (31).
Now, here are some interesting facts:
* In cheating cases, one noteworthy figure is Praniti Shinde, daughter of former chief minister and union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
* Hitendra Thakur of the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi not only faces eight cases, including bribery and rioting, but has declared assets of Rs 100 crore.
(This is an updated version of an earlier story)
Visualisation: Chaitanya Mallapur
Data Inputs: Mrinmoyee Chatterjee
Photo Credit: BJP (Maharashtra)
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