Times of India
Ashish Tripathi

As many as 31% members of parliament (MPs) legislators (MLAs/MLCs) who will cast vote in presidential election have criminal cases pending against them in police record and 48% are crorepatis, according to study done by the National Election Watch (NEW) and Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), bodies representing over 1200 civil society groups working o n electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in India for the last several years. 

The total number of MPs 776 are and legislators are 4120. These MPs and legislators (taken together the number is 4896) constitute the Electoral College which votes in the presidential elections. Each member of the Electoral College has votes in proportion to the population of the state he/she represents. 

The NEW and ADR analysed the affidavits of 4835 members of the Electoral College, which includes 772 MPs and 4063 legislators from all the state of India. 

The analysis revealed that 1448 members 31% have criminal cases against them. They had declared criminal cases in an affidavit filed with the Election Commission of India (ECI) at the time of nomination for various elections. 

Out of these 1448 members who have declared criminal cases, 641 have declared serious criminal cases like rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion etc. 

Six MPs/MLAs/MLCs have declared rape charges in their affidavits. They are Kandikunta Venkata Prasad of TDP from Kadiri constituency in Andhra Pradesh, Jethabhai G Ahir of BJP from Shehra constituency in Gujarat, Mohammad Aleem Khan of BSP from Bulandshahar constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Anoop Sanda of SP from Sultanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Manoj Kumar Paras of SP from Nagina constituency in Uttar Pradesh and Shri Bhagwan Sharma of SP from Debai constituency in Uttar Pradesh. 

There are 141 MPs/MLAs/MLCs who have murder charges against them, 352 have attempt to murder charges, 145 have theft charges, 90 have kidnapping charges and 75 have dacoity charges. 

Kameshwar BaithaLok Sabha MP from Palamau of JMM has declared the highest number of criminal cases, (35) followed by Pradeep Maharathy, BJD MLA from Odisha from Pipili constituency with 26 cases and Pradip Kumar of JD (U), MLA from Bihar from Warsaliganj constituency with 18 cases. The charges against these politicians are related to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, theft, kidnapping etc. 

Based on the number of votes that these tainted MPs/MLAs/MLCs represent (31%) of total 1089287 votes. 

While 30% of Lok Sabha members had declared criminal cases against them at the time of filing nomination for election, 16% Rajya Sabha members have criminal record. A mong state assemblies, Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of legislators with declared criminal cases (189 out of 403 MLAs) followed by Maharashtra (146 out of 287 MLAs analysed) and Bihar (139 out of 241 MLAs analysed). However, in terms of percentage of 'tainted' votes among state assemblies, Jharkhand has the highest tainted votes with 74% followed by Bihar with 58% and Maharashtra - 51%. 

Further, a total of 2322 (48%) out of 4835 MPs/MLAs analysed are crorepatis as per their self sworn affidavits submitted at the time of nomination for contesting elections. When translated into votes, a total of 54% votes are of crorepati MPs/MLAs. Amongst state assemblies, Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of crorepati votes followed by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. In terms of percentage, Goa has the highest percentage of crorepatis voters (92%) followed by Punjab (86%) and Haryana (72%). 

As per the data from ECI, out of the total 4896 MPs/MLAs who are entitled to vote, only 418 or 9% are women. Based on the number of votes the MPs/MLAs are entitled to vote, the total number of women votes is 10% or 113145 out of 1098882 votes. Among MPs, Lok Sabha has 11% women votes and Rajya Sabha 10%. Among State assemblies, West Bengal has the maximum amount of women votes with 12231 votes out of 44394 (34 out of 294 MLAs), followed by Uttar Pradesh with 6656 votes out of 83824(32 out of 403 MLAs) and Bihar with 5882 votes out of 42039 (34 out of 243 MLAs). In terms of percentage, among state assemblies, the highest percentage of women votes is from Bihar with 14% followed by Rajasthan with 14% and West Bengal 12%.

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