As the nation is set to elect a new President, a report by a think tank said on Friday that around 33 per cent of members in the electoral college, which includes members of both houses of Parliament as well as state assemblies, have declared criminal cases against them. The Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch said this, based on the analysis of self-sworn affidavits of 4,852 of 4,896 MPs and MLAs.
The presidential election, which will be held on July 17, has Ram Nath Kovind as the candidate supported by the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and Meira Kumar — the first woman to become Lok Sabha speaker – as Opposition candidate.
However, women constitute only nine per cent of the electoral college — only 451 out of 4,852 MPs and MLAs are women.
According to the report, 184 (33 per cent) out of 543 Lok Sabha MPs, 44 (19%) out of 231 Rajya Sabha MPs and 1,353 (33%) out of 4,078 MLAs across all states and union territories, have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits in the most recent elections.
Of the 4,852 MPs and MLAs analysed, 993 or 20 per cent members have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
“Based on the number of votes that MPs and MLAs who have declared criminal cases, are entitled to cast, a total of 3,67,393 votes (34%) out of 10,91,472 votes analysed are of MPs and MLAs who have declared criminal cases against themselves,” the report said.
Moreover, 3,460 or 71 per cent out of 4,852 MPs and MLAs analysed are multi-millionaires as per their self-sworn affidavits submitted to the Election Commission at the time of nomination for contesting elections.
Altogether, 445 (82 per cent) out of 543 Lok Sabha MPs, 194 (84%) out of 231 Rajya Sabha MPs, 2721 (68 per cent) out of 4,078 MLAs from all state and UT assemblies are multi-millionaires.
Across the electoral college, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 31 per cent MPs and MLAs with criminal cases, Congress has 26 per cent, Trinamool Congress has 29 per cent, Communist Party of India (Marxist) has 49 per cent, Communist Party of India (CPI) has 58 & such MPs and MLAs.