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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

New MLAs in Himachal assembly: 44 crorepati, 14 have criminal cases

Rohit Lath, Hindustan Times  Shimla, December 24, 2012
First Published: 11:01 IST(24/12/2012) | Last Updated: 11:09 IST(24/12/2012)

As many as 65% MLAs in the 68-member newly elected state assembly are crorepatis and 21% have declared criminal cases against them.

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A total of 44 MLAs are crorepatis based on their self-sworn affidavits. According to Himachal Pradesh Election Watch-ADR (Association for Democratic Reforms), Indian National Congress has 26 (72%) and BJP has 13 (50%) crorepati MLAs. In the 2007 assembly elections, 20 (29%) MLAs were crorepatis.

In the list of top 10 crorepati MLAs, eight are from the Congress party and two of them are independent candidates. The MLAs with maximum assets in Himachal Pradesh assembly is Brij Behari Lal Butail of Congress from Palampur assembly segment with assets of worth Rs. 169 crore, followed by Balbir Singh Verma, an Independent candidate from Chopal seat with assets of Rs. 41 crore and Ram Kumar of Congress from Doon constituency with assets of worth Rs. 36 crore. BJP MLA Rajeev Bindal from Nahan assembly seat at the 14th position in the list of crorepatis has declared assets worth more than Rs. 6 crore.

However, a total of 11 (17%) MLAs out of the total 68 have declared assets worth less than of Rs. 50 lakh. Yadvinder Goma of Congress from Jaisinghpur constituency has declared the lowest (Rs 5.2 lakh), followed by Hans Raj of BJP from Churah assembly segment with assets worth Rs. 7 lakh and Bikram Singh of BJP from Bhattiyat seat with assets worth Rs. 7.09 lakh.

A total of 10 MLAs have declared liabilities in excess of Rs. 50 lakh. Top three MLAs with highest liabilities are Balbir Singh Verma (Independent) from Chopal, GS Bali (Congress) from Nagrota and Rakesh Kalia (Congress) from Gagret constituency with liabilities of Rs. 11.42 crore, Rs. 9.96 crore and Rs. 2.92 crore respectively.

Among the major parties the average assets per candidate for the Congress is Rs. 11.04 crore and for BJP it is Rs. 1.23 crore. The average assets per MLA for five independent MLAs are Rs. 14 crore.

Out of total 68 assembly members analysed, 14 (21%) have declared criminal cases against them.

However, in 2007 elections, 26 (39%) MLAs had declared criminal cases against themselves.

Out of the 68 MLAs with declared criminal cases, five have declared serious criminal cases like kidnapping, abetment of suicide, forgery and Congress has three and BJP has two such MLAs.

Amongst all major parties, the Congress has 10 (28%) MLAs out of the 36, whereas the BJP has three (12%) out of the 26 MLAs who have declared criminal cases against themselves.

The top three newly elected MLAs who have declared criminal cases are Vinay Kumar of Congress from Renuka with charges of abetment of suicide, Ravinder Singh of the BJP from Dehra constituency with charges related to kidnapping and Anirudh Singh of Congress from Kasumpati with charges of theft.

Of the MLAs with declared criminal cases, charges have been framed against seven for various crimes. Two MLAs have also declared that they have cases against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act, namely Virbhadra Singh of Congress from Shimla (Rural) and Anirudh Singh of Congress from Kasumpti seat.


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