At 36 per cent, more than a third — or 295 out of 820 — MPs and MLAs from Bihar elected since 2005 have serious criminal cases registered against them, including those relating to crimes against women, murder, assault, and corruption, according to an analysis of the legislators’ election affidavit by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Among these legislators, 84 were elected on a BJP ticket, 101 on a JD(U) ticket, 62 represent RJD, 17 were fielded by the Congress, and 11 by LJP.

In terms of percentage, LJP was found to have the largest percentage of legislators (41%, or 11 out of 27 Mps/MLAs since 2005) with serious criminal cases. This was followed by RJD (39%; 62 of 158) and Congress (37%; 17 of 46). The JD(U) and BJP had 34 per cent MPs and MLAs from Bihar with serious criminal cases against them.

On assets of these elected representatives, the ADR report states: “Among national parties, since 2005 average assets of 46 MPs/MLAs from INC [Congress] is Rs 4.04 crore, while 246 BJP MPs/MLAs have average assets of Rs 2.92 crore. Average assets of 296 JD(U) MPs/MLAs is Rs 1.42 crore, average assets of 158 RJD MPs/ MLAs is Rs 2.14 crore, and average assets of 21 Independent MPs/MLAs is Rs 3.05 crore.”

To check criminalisation of politics, the Supreme Court has made it mandatory for candidates to publicise their criminal antecedents aside from declaring it in poll affidavits.

Last month, the Election Commission made it mandatory for candidates to publicise this thrice — first within four days of the last date of withdrawal of candidature, then within the fifth and eighth days of the last date of withdrawal, and lastly from the ninth until the last day of the campaign.
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