Rising Wealth And Criminal Cases: 2023 Assembly Elections Reveal Surging Assets And Troubling Criminal Records Among MLAs

Newly appointed Chief Minister of Telangana, A Revanth Reddy stood on the list with 89 cases registered against him.

Rising Wealth And Criminal Cases: 2023 Assembly Elections Reveal Surging Assets And Troubling Criminal Records Among MLAs

The newly elected assemblies have a concerning number of MLAs with criminal backgrounds.

In the recent assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, of the total 678 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) elected, as many as 253 have been found to have criminal cases and 146 have serious criminal cases filed against them. Apart from criminal cases, MLAs in Telangana have seen their average assets skyrocket from Rs 15.71 crore to a staggering Rs 38.88 crore, while Chhattisgarh witnessed a decline from Rs 11.63 crore to Rs 5.25 crore.

The Congress won in Telangana, overthrowing the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the BJP came back to power in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. In Mizoram, the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) which was founded in 2018, came to power overthrowing the incumbent Mizo National Front (MNF).

Criminal and Serious Criminal Cases against MLAs

The newly elected assemblies have a concerning number of MLAs with criminal backgrounds. Comparing the figures, Telangana stood on top with 69 and 50 per cent of the MLAs with criminal and serious criminal cases against them respectively. Newly-appointed Chief Minister of Telangana, A Revanth Reddy is also on the list with 89 cases, followed by BJP's firebrand leader T Raja Singh, MLA from Goshamahal Constituency of Hyderabad District with 87 cases. Akbaruddin Owaisi, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader in the Assembly has six cases registered against him.

In Rajasthan, 22 per cent of the MLAs face serious criminal charges, marking an 8 per cent increase since the 2018 elections. BJP legislator Madan Dilawar from Ramganj Mandi (SC) in Kota district topped the list with 14 cases against him. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh both have witnessed a decrease in MLAs with criminal cases. BJP's Preetam Lodhi from Shivpuri district stood on top of the list in MP with nine cases. In Chhattisgarh Vijay Sharma, a BJP legislator from Kawardha constituency topped the list with seven cases. Meanwhile, in Mizoram, only three MLAs have criminal and serious criminal cases registered against them.

Crorepati MLAs in 2023 vs 2018

Out of the 678 MLAs elected, Telangana's Gaddam Vivekanand, from Chennur (SC) constituency of Mancherial district, emerged as the richest with fortunes worth Rs 606 crore. The new state has the highest number of crorepati MLAs, 96 per cent of the total number which rose by seven percentage points in five years. Chhattisgarh, for instance, saw an increase from 68 crorepati MLAs in 2018 to 72 in 2023. Former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and BJP's Bhawana Bohra from Pandariya constituency emerged as the richest MLAs of the state with assets worth Rs 33 crore each.

In Madhya Pradesh, 87 per cent of the MLAs are crorepati which is 8 per cent more than MLAs in 2018. BJP legislator from Ratlam City constituency, with assets worth Rs 296 crore, emerged as the richest MLA of the state. In Rajasthan, the figure rose from 158 to 169 in 2023, marking a 6 per cent increase. Siddhi Kumari BJP MLA from Bikaner East, stood as the richest MLA of the state with assets worth Rs 102 crore. Meanwhile, Congress's MLA Abhimanyu from Sangaria constituency was the least wealthy legislator among the 678 elected with assets worth just Rs 1 lakh. Mizoram makes an exception in the ranks with the only state to witness a decrease in the crorepati MLAs, from 36 in 2018 to 34 in 2023. ZPM MLA from Champai North (SC) constituency H. Ginzalala stood as the richest with assets worth Rs 36 crore.

Average Assets of MLAs in 2023 vs 2018

In Chhattisgarh, there has been a significant decrease in the average assets of the MLAs, from Rs 11.63 crore in 2018 to Rs 5.25 crore in 2023. Madhya Pradesh shows an increase, with the average assets rising from Rs 10.17 crore in 2018 to Rs 11.77 crore in 2023. Mizoram also sees an increase, with the average assets growing from Rs 4.84 crore in 2018 to Rs 7.89 crore in 2023. In Rajasthan, there's a slight rise from Rs 7.39 crore in 2018 to Rs 7.78 crore in 2023. The most notable change is observed in Telangana, where the average assets of MLAs have more than doubled, skyrocketing from Rs 15.71 crore in 2018 to Rs 38.88 crore in 2023. While Chhattisgarh saw a decrease, other states like Madhya Pradesh and Telangana witnessed an increase.

Re-elected MLAs Party Wise

Out of the 230 seats assembly in Madhya Pradesh, 101 MLAs were re-elected to the legislative house. BJP's 72 and Congress's 29 MLAs returned to the house again. In Rajasthan, 75 MLAs were re-elected, which include 36 from the BJP, 35 from Congress, one from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), Bharat Adivasi Party and one independent. In Chhattisgarh, 18 Congress MLAs made a comeback followed by 6 BJP legislators. In Telangana, 24 BRS MLAs returned to the assembly and were followed by 4 from AIMIM, 3 from Congress and one from BJP. In Mizoram, out of the 40 assembly, 15 again made it back to the house, with 7 MLAs from Mizo National Front (MNF), 6 from ZPM and one from BJP and Congress.

Number of Women Legislators in 2023 vs 2018

Gender representation has seen a marginal increase, indicating a slow yet positive shift towards gender parity in politics. Apart from Rajasthan, the other four have seen an increase in women representation in the assembly. In Rajasthan, the figure went from 23 in 2018 to 20 in 2023. Mizoram, where none of the legislators in 2018 were women, saw three new female legislators in the new assembly. Telangana saw an increase from six women MLAs in 2018 to 10 in 2023. In Chhattisgarh, the figure went from 13 in 2018 to 19 in 2023. In the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the figure increased by six new women MLAs from 21 to 27 in 2023

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