A total of 143 MLAs (59%) in the new Bihar assembly face criminal charges, and 96 MLAs face serious criminal charges including murder and kidnapping.
Among MLAs facing serious charges, 12 have been charged for murder, 26 are charged for attempt to murder, nine are charged for kidnapping and 13 face extortion charges.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad, which emerged as the largest single party in the Bihar assembly with 80 seats, has the highest number of MLAs (49) with criminal cases pending against them.
The RJD is followed by its Mahagathbandan (Grand Alliance) ally the Janata Dal (United) with 37 MLAs who have criminal cases pending against them.
An analysis of affidavits filed by 3,450 candidates for the 243-seat assembly showed that 1,038 (30%) candidates had declared criminal charges, according to data sourced from Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit think-tank working on electoral and governance reforms.
As many as 796 (23%) candidates had declared serious criminal cases including charges related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping and crimes against women lodged against them.
As many as 95 (61%) out of 157 candidates from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 58 (57%) out of 101 candidates fielded by the JD (U) reported criminal charges against them.
As many as 61 (60%) out of 101 candidates of the RJD, 23 (56%) out of 41 candidates of the Congress and 259 (23%) out of 1,150 independent candidates had declared criminal charges against them in their affidavits.
The RJD again has the highest number of MLAs (31) with serious criminal charges, including attempt to murder, against them 31 followed by the JD(U) with 24.
As many as 89 candidates had declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302), and 238 candidates had declared offence related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307).
Ajay Kumar, an independent candidate from Kumhrar constituency, had declared eight charges related to murder in his affidavit. Kumar lost the election.
Visheshwar Ojha, a BJP candidate from Shahpur constituency, had declared 10 charges of attempt to murder (IPC Section-307). Ojha was the runner-up in the constituency by polling over 54,000 votes. The election was won by the RJD’s Rahul Tiwary with over 69,000 votes.
As many as 105 (67%) out of 157 candidates from the BJP, 76(75%) out of 101 candidates fielded by the JD (U), 66 (65%) out of 101 candidates of the RJD, 25 (61%) out of 41 candidates fielded by the Congress and 229 (20%) out of 1,150 independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The average assets per candidate who contested the Bihar assembly elections of 2015 is Rs 1.44 crore.
The average asset per candidate for the 157 BJP candidates was Rs 2.74 crore.
While 101 JD(U) candidates have average assets worth Rs 2.7 crore, 41 Congress candidates have average assets worth Rs 3.90 crore,
While 101 RJD candidates have average assets worth Rs 3.25 crore, 1,150 independent candidates have average assets of Rs 1.83 crore.
(Salve and Tewari are policy analysts with IndiaSpend)
This story was originally published in IndiaSpend , India’s first data-journalism initiative.