Fifteen candidates in the recently concluded elections to the Rajya Sabha have pending criminal cases against them, of which six of them have serious charges, a report by the Association of Democaratic Reforms and National Election Watch has stated.
Prof Baghel S P Singh (of the Bahujan Samaj Party from Uttar Pradesh) has declared a case of attempt to murder pending against him.
Dr Vijay Mallya (IND from Karnataka) has declared that he has been charged with Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and cheating and dishonesty cases pending against him.
Gundu Sudha Rani (of the Telugu Desam Party from Andhra Pradesh) has declared pending cases related to promoting enmity between different groups on basis of religion etc. on her.
Rashid Masood (Samajwadi Party from UP) has declared pending cases related to the Prevention of Corruption Act against him.
The election was held for 55 seats across 13 states. However, affidavits of just 49 seats could be analysed since the details of the seats from Tamil Nadu have not been available yet.
Fifteen candidates (i.e.28 percent) have declared in their affadavits that they have pending criminal cases against them. Of this, six candidates have serious criminal cases pending on them -- including attempt to murder, wrongful confinement and cases related to cheating and forgery.
Interestingly, all the candidates with pending criminal cases have won the RS elections.
Most parties nominated candidates with pending criminal cases.
Of the major parties, the Indian National Congress nominated three candidates (19 percent) with pending criminal cases out of the total 16 candidates. The Bharatiya Janata Party nominated two candidates with criminal charges out of the total 11 (i.e. 17 percent), while one of the seven candidates nominated by the Bahujan Samaj Party nominated (14 percent) has a criminal background.
The Nationalist Congress Party nominated two candidates, and both have a criminal background (100 percent).
Amongst candidates with serious pending cases, one each from the Congress, the BJP, the BSP, the Shiv Sena, the IND, and the TDP have declared that they have pending serious criminal cases against them. All these candidates have won the election.
Most parties preferred nominating candidates with high assets. Out of the 54 contesting candidates, 43 were crorepatis (79.6 percent).
Thirty-eight of the 49 of newly elected Rajya Sabha members ((77.6 percent) are crorepatis.
The average asset for the candidates declared in their affidavits is Rs 24.45 crore. Among the winners, the average asset is Rs 25.24 crore.
Mallya has declared the highest assets (Rs 615 crore), followed by Yalamanchili Satyanarayana Chowdary (of the TDP) from Andhra Pradesh (Rs 189.7 crore), followed by Kanwar Deep Singh (the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) from Jharkhand (Rs 82.6 crore).
Anil Dave of the BJP declared the lowest assets (Rs 2.7 lakh), preceded by Ram Kripal Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (Rs 27.32 lakh) and by Shashi Bhushan Behera of the Biju Janata Dal (Rs 29.74 lakh).
Three candidates Dheeraj Prasad Sahu of the Congress (Rs 14.76 crore), Rashid Masood of the Samajwadi Party (Rs 5.14 crore) and Shashi Bhushan Behera of the Biju Janata Dal (Rs 29 lakh) did not declare their PAN cards in their affidavits.
Three candidates have declared that they own no immovable assets (including property either commercial or residential). Among them are Mallya, Jairam Ramesh of the Congress (Rs 61 lakh) and Anil Dave of the Bharatiya Janata Party (Rs 2.7 lakh).