New Delhi

1. According to two NGOs, National Election Watch and Association of Democratic reforms, in Lok Sabha elections 2009, a total of 153 of the 543 politicians elected had criminal cases pending against them, this included nine ministers. Of 900 candidates with pending criminal cases who contested in these elections, a total of 161 won.

2. In the state assembly elections in 2011, 35% of MLAs of West Bengal, 29% of Tamil Nadu, 10% of Assam and 30% of MLAs from Puducherry have criminal cases pending against them.

3. In the Rajya Sabha as well, data collected from affadavits shows that for 54 candidates for 49 seats for 12 states; total of 15 (28%) candidates have pending criminal cases against them. Of these 6 candidates declared serious criminal cases pending against them - including that of attempt to murder, wrongful confinement& related to cheating and forgery.

4. Money power was also at blatant display during the state assembly elections in states like TN, WB, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry. Cash seized in the last elections reached record eights with Rs 60 crores being seized from Tamil Nadu alone. However, most MLAs told the EC that they have only spent a between Rs 3.12 lakhs and Rs 9.39.

5. There is also a connection between the worth of an MLA and his success in the elections: the richer you are the more likely it is that you will win the election. Here are some figures that illustrate this point: 37% of MLAs of Assam,52% of Tamil Nadu, 16% of West Bengal and 63% of MLAs from Puducherry are crorepatis. This is applicable to Rajya Sabha as well - Most parties preferred nominating candidates with high assets. Out of 54 contesting candidates 43(80%) were crorepatis. 38 winners or 78% of them are crorepatis.

6. According to NEW, the more money you have the more chance you have of winning elections: only 0.98% of candidates who had declared low assets, i.e. less than 10 lakhs, got elected for Maharashtra. This number was 2.34% for Haryana. On the other hand, 48% of the candidates who contested and declared assets of more than 10 crores won from Maharashtra and about 44%of such candidates got elected for Haryana. For Arunachal, 53% of the candidates who declared assets of more than 1 crore won the elections.

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