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Bangalore: Nowadays, most Indian politicians hardly join politics for the sake of ‘Samaj Seva’ and instead venture into this field as a means to multiply their income and assets by manifolds in a short span of time. As such the country sees many candidates with criminal charges who have greater chances of winning an election as compared to clean candidates, said an analysis carried out by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).

ADR and NEW analyzed a total of 62, 847 candidates who contested either Parliamentary or State Assembly Elections since 2004 and noted that the candidates had  average assets of 1.37 crore while the candidates who won elections had an average wealth of Rs 3.83 crore, which is almost double the total assets.

It is outrageous to know that the legislators who faced severe criminal cases are not just likely to get elected in the second term but even their wealth is likely to increase after a five-year term by up to 1000 percent. Most MPs and MLAs who faced serious pending charges like murder, kidnapping and rape came on top of the list with average assets of Rs 4.38 crore.
Jagdeep Chhokar, founding member of ADR and NEW stated, "When we filed an RTI with the Income Tax department asking about the actions taken by them against those people whose wealth has shown an abnormal increase. Their reply simply was that we have done the needful as per the laid down procedure."

Since 2004, a total of 11063 or 18 percent out of the 62847 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves while 5,253 or 8 percent have declared being involved in ‘serious’ criminal cases. ADR's Professor Trilochan Shastry said, "Criminalization is a fact which can't be denied. Money plays a big role in elections and criminalization makes it worse." 

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