Deccan Herald
DH News Service
New Delhi

Even as political parties remain unable to develop a consensus on the Women’s Reservation Bill, it has emerged that there are less women MPs in the Rajya Sabha than those with criminal background.

As against 37 MPs who have criminal cases pending against them, 12 are facing serious criminal cases. And there are only 21 women MPs in the Upper House, a first-ever analysis of members of the Upper House has revealed.

In percentage terms, the Rajya Sabha has 17 per cent MPs with a criminal record as against only 9 per cent women members. However, ADR’s figures are based on figures accessed as on March 31, 2009, and the latest figures show that there are actually 25 women MPs in the Upper House.

The figures have come out in a detailed analysis of the sworn affidavits of 219 Rajya Sabha MPs, out of the 239-strong House currently, by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), a nationwide campaign for electoral reforms, improvement in democratic practices and governance.

The parties that have backed the Women’s Reservation Bill— Congress and BJP—have just 13 and 9 per cent women MPs respectively. Out of Congress’s 70 MPs, only nine are women. Only four of the BJP’s 45 are women.

BSP, AIADMK, NCP ,CPI and JD (U) have no woman member in the Upper House. The analysis has also thrown up 98 crorepatis among Rajya Sabha MPs, though the actual figure might be more since the annual asset and liability declarations of only 183 members had been collected from the Rajya Sabha secretariat for it. Two among the top 10 crorepatis—M A M Ramaswamy (Rs 278 crore) and Anil Lad (Rs 188 crore)—represent Karnataka.

In contrast, two MPs—CPI’s D Raja and CPM’s Saman Pathak—have ‘zero’ assets, according to their declarations. Overall, Rajya Sabha MPs have emerged poorer than their counterparts in Lok Sabha, where 315 out of the 543 MPs are crorepatis.

The Congress leads the “crorepati list” with 65 per cent of its MPs falling in that bracket, as against 53 per cent from the BJP. In state terms, 17 of the 26 MPs from UP are crorepatis as against 13 out of 15 from Maharashtra.

Industrialist Rahul Bajaj has declared the highest assets of Rs 300 crore, followed by Ramaswamy, Congress’s T Subbarami Reddy (Rs 272 crore) and SP’s Jaya Bachchan (Rs 215.5 crore).

At the other end of the spectrum, apart from D Raja and Pathak, are Left MPs Abani Roy (Rs 72,000) and Brinda Karat (Rs 1.74 lakh) as well as BJP’s Rudra Narayan Pany (Rs 3.49 lakh).

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