50% of Meghalaya candidates are crorepatis, 6% have criminal cases: ADR Report
The National People’s Party (NPP) ranked on top with 43 out of 60 candidates being crorepatis and the party’s Metbah Lyngdoh holds the highest valued assets at over ₹146 crore
Over 50% of the candidates contesting for the Meghalaya Assembly Elections 2023 are crorepatis while 6% of the candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) working to effect electoral reforms in the country, revealed on Friday.
ADR recently analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 375 candidates who are contesting in the Meghalaya Assembly Elections 2023. Out of 375 candidates analysed, 233 are from national parties, 69 are from state parties, 29 are from registered unrecognised parties and 44 candidates are contesting independently.
According to the report, around 10% of the candidates from the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, the report said.
The National People’s Party (NPP) ranked on top with 43 out of 60 candidates contesting the polls being crorepatis.
The average assets per candidate contesting in the Assembly Elections are valued at ₹5.91 cr, with the NPP leading in average assets of ₹10.68 crore.
The average assets per candidate for 56 BJP candidates is valued at Rs. 2.71 crore, while that for the Congress is ₹4.34 crore and the AITC ₹4.95 crore.
Among the major parties, 5 out of 60 candidates from the Congress, 6 out of 57 candidates from the NPP, 1 out of 60 candidates from the BJP and 3 out of 56 candidates from the AITC have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Four candidates from the Congress, four from NPP, one from the BJP and two from the AITC have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
It is mandatory for political parties at the Central and State election level to upload on their website detailed information regarding candidates with pending criminal cases including the nature of the offences, relevant particulars like whether charges have been framed, the court concerned, the case number etc.
Metbah Lyngdoh, a UDP member representing the Mairang constituency, holds the highest valued assets at over ₹146 crore, followed by Vincent .H. Pala and Evalyni Kharbani with total assets of over ₹125 crore and ₹109 crore respectively.
Out of 375 candidates, 80 (21%) have declared educational qualification of 12th Class and above, whereas, 128 candidates (34%) declared as graduates.
The highest number of candidates contesting in the election belongs to the 41-50 age group, the lowest from the 71-80 age bracket, which saw only 4 candidates contest.
Out of 375 candidates only 36 (9%) are women.
Legislative Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Meghalaya on 27 February 2023 to elect all 60 members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. The counting of votes will take place on March 2.