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Fewer criminals, more crorepatis in Himachal assembly

December 24, 2012 10:09 IST

The newly elected Legislative Assembly in Himachal Pradesh has seen a decline in the number of members who are facing criminal cases.

Of the 68 newly elected MLAs, 14 MLAs or 21 per cent have declared criminal cases against them. In the 2007 assembly elections, 26 MLAs or 39 per cent of the MLAs had declared criminal cases against themselves as per the analysis of the Association for Democratic Reforms.

Amongst all the major parties, Congress has 10 MLAs out of 36 with declared criminal cases whereas the BJP has three such MLAs out of 26.

Out of these 68 MLAs, five are facing serious criminal cases like kidnapping, abetment of suicide, forgery etc. Three of these MLAs are from the Congress and two are from the BJP.

The top three newly elected MLAs who have declared serious criminal cases are Congress leader Vinay Kumar from Sri Renukaji constituency who is facing charges of abetment of suicide, BJP leader Ravinder Singh from Dehra constituency who is facing charges related to kidnapping and Congress leader Anirudh Singh from Kasumpti constituency who is facing charges related to theft.

Of these 68 MLAs with declared criminal cases, charges have been framed against seven MLAs for various crimes.

Two MLAs have declared that they have cases registered against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act -- they are Congress leaders Virbhadra Singh from Shimla Rural constituency and Anirudh Singh from Kasumpti.

Forty four MLAs out of the 68 in the newly elected Himachal Pradesh assembly are crorepatis. The Congress has 26 crorepati MLAs out of 36 and BJP has 13 crorepati MLAs out of 26.

Congress leader Brij Behari Lal Butail of Palampur constituency has declared the highest asset worth of Rs 169 crore, followed by Independent Balbir Singh Verma from Chopal with assets of Rs 41 crores, Congress leader Ram Kumar from Doon constituency with assets of Rs 36 crore, Congress leader Virbhadra Singh from Shimla Rural constituency with assets worth Rs 33 crore.

BJP MLA Rajiv Bindal (14th in the list of crorepati MLAs) from Nahan constituency has declared assets of more than Rs 6 crores.

Eleven MLAs have declared assets of less than Rs 50 lakh.

Congress leader Yadvinder Goma from Jaisinghpur constituency has declared the lowest asset worth of Rs 5.2 lakh followed by BJP leader Hans Raj from Churah constituency with assets of Rs 7 lakh and BJP leader Bikram Singh from Bhattiyat constituency with assets with Rs 7.09 Lakhs.

Amongst major parties, the average asset per MLA for the Congress is Rs 11.04 crore and for the BJP it is Rs. 1.23 crore. The average asset per MLA for five Independent MLAs is Rs 14 crore.

Three MLAs have not declared their PAN details.

Balbir Singh, an Independent MLA from Chopal constituency, has declared the maximum income of Rs 1.41 crore in his income tax returns for the financial year 2011-12, followed by Congress leader G S Bali from Nagrota with an income of Rs 1.12 crore, Congress leader Virbhadra Singh from Shimla Rural with an income of Rs. 60.75 lakh.

BJP leader Mahender Singh from Dharampur constituency has declared an income of Rs 30.76 lakh.

Four MLAs have not declared their income tax returns.

The MLAs who have declared maximum assets but haven't filed ITR are Congress leader Khub Ram from Anni constituency with assets of Rs 60 lakh, Congress leader Sanjay Rattan from Jawalamukhi constituency with declared assets of Rs 49.5 lakh, BJP leader Bikram Singh from Bhattiyat constituency with declared assets of Rs 7.09 lakh and BJp MLA Hans Raj from Churah constituency with declared assets of Rs 7 lakhs.

As many as 82 per cent MLAs hold a graduate level or higher educational qualification.

Women's representation: 3 out of 68 (4%) newly elected MLAs are women. In 2007, 5 or 7% MLAs were women

Forty seven newly elected MLAs whose complete affidavits were available from 2007 assembly elections have been analysed.

The average asset of these newly elected MLAs in 2007 was Rs 3.59 crore. Their average asset now is Rs 7.63 crore. The average growth in assets for these re-contesting MLAs is Rs 4.03 crore. Average percentage growth in assets for these re-contesting MLAs is 112 per cent.

Congress leader Brij Behari Lal Butail from Palampur has declared the highest increase in assets of Rs 77.29 crore -- his assets have grown from Rs. 91.92 crore in 2007 to Rs 169.21 crore in 2012.

Assets of Anil Kumar, a Congress MLA from Mandi, have increased by Rs 26.59 crore -- from Rs 3.11 crore in 2007 to Rs 29.70 crore in 2012. Assets of G S Bali, a Congress leader from Nagrota, have risen by Rs 21.03 crore -- from Rs 3.81 crore in 2007 to Rs 24.85 crore in 2012.

BJP leader Rajiv Bindal from Nahan constituency has shown assets increase of Rs 4.82 crore -- from Rs 1.60 crore in 2007 to Rs 6.42 crore in 2012.

Congress MLA Bumber Thakur from Bilaspur has declared the highest percentage increase in assets of 7,463 per cent -- from Rs 1.35 lakh in 2007 to Rs 1.02 crore in 2012.

Dr Rajiv Sanhjal, a BJP MLA from Kasauli, has shown a percentage increase in assets of 1,936 per cent, from Rs 1.53 lakh in 2007 to Rs 31.15 lakh in 2012. Rikhi Ram, a BJP MLA from Jhanduta, has seen his assets go up by 874 per cent, from Rs 13.41 lakhs in 2007 to Rs 1.30 crore in 2012.

Three MLAs have reported a decrease in assets in 2012 as compared to their corresponding value of assets in 2007. They are Govind Ram (29 per cent reduction in assets, from Rs 65.66 lakh in 2007 elections to Rs 46.60 lakh in 2012) of BJP from Arki, Asha Kumari (33 per cent dip in assets, from Rs 2.42 crore in 2007 to Rs 1.62 crore in 2012) of Congress from Dalhousie and Mansa Ram (48 per cent asset decrease, from Rs 1.69 crore in 2007 elections to Rs 88.64 lakh in 2012).

Vicky Nanjappa