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87% candidates with criminal background voted out

The voters of Assam this time have rejected 87 per cent of the candidates with criminal record in the assembly elections. 13 out of 97 candidates could make their way to the assembly, which is however, six more than the previous assembly elections, as revealed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), a nationwide campaign comprising more than 1200 NGOs and other citizen led organizations.

“This time 10 per cent of the total MLAs out of 126 in the house have criminal cases pending against them as per their own declarations,” said Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, coordinator of NEW for Assam.

According to the report, eight MLAs out of the 13 have serious IPC charges like kidnapping and extorting against them. While, there are serious criminal cases pending against eight MLAs.

“All major parties have MLAs with pending criminal cases against them and AIUDF is at the top with six such MLAs out of their 18,” Hussain said.

The winner Congress, who has 78 MLAs, has four such MLAs. While, AGP and BJP have one each in their tally. The only MLA of Trinamool in the state has serious criminal cases pending against him.

Rafiqul Islam, Abdur Rahim Khan, Abul Kalam Azad and Ali Hossain of AIUDF, Siddeque Ahmed and Illias Ali of Indian National Congress, Dilip Moran of BJP and Dwipen Pathak of Trinamool have serious criminal cases pending against them, the report revealed.

Meanwhile, the report further disclosed the assets of the MLAs who were newly elected. There are 47 MLAs of the 126 who have assets amounting crores and above which is an apparent rise from the last time. There were just 16 crorepati MLAs during the last assembly election in 2006.

“Sirajuddin Ajmal of AIUDF tops the lists with total assets more than rupees 42 crore and Anjan Dutta of Congress follows next with Rs 10.89 crore,” Hussain said quoting the report.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who won from Titabar constituency is placed at number nine position with Rs 4.94 crore. AGP who performed poorly this time with just 10 seats, has the highest percentage of crorepatis among their MLAs with 60 per cent. The report also says that Girindra Malik of Indian National Congress from Dholai constituency is the poorest MLA with a total asset of just Rs 53, 377.

Congress has 31 crorepati MLAs which constitute 40 per cent of their total MLAs. === Abdul Gani

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