Deccan Herald
New Delhi

Industralist Vijay Mallya, who just got elected to Rajya Sabha as an independent candidate from Karnataka, is the richest among the 54 contestants, but he also has a serious criminal case pending against him.

Mallya declared in his self-sworn affidavit that he owns total assets worth Rs 615 crore. Next in the list is Yalamanchili Satyanarayana Chowdary of the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, who has assets worth Rs 189.7 crore, followed by Kanwar Deep Singh of Jharkand Mukti Morcha, whose assets are valued at Rs 82.6 crore.

The lowest assets declared were by Anil Dave of the BJP at Rs 2.7 lakh, Ram Kripal Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) at Rs 27.32 lakh and Shashi Bhushan Behera of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at Rs 29.74 lakh, an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) says.

According to the study, most parties preferred candidates with high assets. Out of the 54 candidates, 43 were crorepatis. The average assets of the candidates declared in their affidavits is Rs 24.45 crore and that of those elected is Rs 25.24 crore.

The analysis also showed that in spite of most leaders of political parties publicly voicing concern about the influence of crime and money in the legislative bodies, the trend continued. “Even for Rajya Sabha seats, where a candidate does not have to go to public, parties have nominated candidates with pending criminal cases and with high asset value,” the ADR says in the study.

To prove its claim, the ADR came out with a list of candidates who have pending criminal cases against them yet were nominated by political parties. Of the major parties, Congress nominated three such candidates, BJP nominated two, Bahujan Samaj Party, one and Nationalist Congress Party, two. The analysis, however, does not contain information about candidates from Tamil Nadu.

Of the 15 candidates who had declared that they have pending criminal cases against them, six said they were accused in serious criminal cases, including attempt to murder, wrongful confinement, cheating and forgery. Of these, one each is from Congress, Shiv Sena, BJP, BSP and TDP. All of them have won the elections.

The serious cases include that of BSP’s Baghel S P Singh from Uttar Pradesh, who says he is accused of attempt to murder, Gundu Sudha Rani of TDP from Andhra Pradesh, who has cases related to promoting enmity between different religious groups pending on her, and Rashid Masood of SP from UP, who is charged with cases related to Prevention of Corruption Act.

Mallya’s affidavit says he has cases related to FERA Act and cheating and dishonesty against him.

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