The Local Report

According to a recent report released on Tuesday by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) 75% of sitting members of the legislative assembly (MLA) in Nagaland are crorepatis whereas 3% have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

ADR and the Nagaland election watch analysed the criminal, financial and other background details of the 60 sitting MLAs based on the affidavits submitted by the candidates before the 2018 assembly elections and the following by-polls conducted.

According to the report, out of 60 sitting MLAs analyzed, two MLAs have declared serious criminal cases. One of 42 MLAs from the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and one of 12 MLAs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their submitted affidavits.

Sitting BJP MLA V. Kashiho Sangtam, representing the Seyochung Sitimi constituency, was charged with criminal breach of trust, a charge related to criminal breach of trust by a public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent, one charge related to falsification of accounts and a charge related to cheating.

Incumbent NDPP MLA Neiba Kronu of Pfutsero constituency was charged with the criminal breach of trust by a public servant, or by a banker, merchant or agent and a charge related to the punishment of criminal conspiracy.

Serious criminal cases are identified as offences for which the maximum punishment is of 5 years or more. It can include non-bailable or electoral offences.

The report said that out of 60 sitting MLAs analysed, 45 (75%) are crorepatis.

The report said that the average of assets per sitting MLA is 5.14 crore. The average assets per MLA for 42 NDPP MLAs analysed is 5.73 crore, 12 BJP MLAs 3.68 crore, four NPF MLAs 5.34 crores and two Independent MLAs have average assets of 1.13 crore.

Moreover, 19 sitting MLAs have declared their education qualification to be between 8th pass and 12th pass while 40 MLAs declared an educational qualification of graduate or above. One MLA had declared himself illiterate.

There is severe gender disparity in the current batch of MLAs in the state with not a single female representative out of the 60 MLAs.

With regards to age, 21 MLAs fall in the 51-60 age bracket, followed by 15 MLAs in the 61-70 bracket and 11 MLAs in the 41-50 bracket.

The Nagaland Assembly Elections will be held on 27 February 2023 with the date of counting on March 2, 2023.

The previous assembly elections in Nagaland were held in February 2018. After the election, a coalition of NDPP and the BJP formed the state government, with Neiphiu Rio becoming the state chief minister.

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