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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena tops list of most MPs with criminal cases

A majority of the 48 newly-elected Lok Sabha members from Maharashtra have a criminal background and are also multi-millionaires with assets ranging from a minimum of Rs. 99 lakh to Rs. 66 crore.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAY 21, 2014 05:13 PM IST

A majority of the 48 newly-elected Lok Sabha members from Maharashtra have a criminal background and are also multi-millionaires with assets ranging from a minimum of Rs. 99 lakh to Rs. 66 crore.

The 31 Lok Sabha members who belong to the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Swabhimani Paksha - all allies - and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have various kinds of criminal cases lodged against them.

The number of criminal cases filed against the candidates range from one to 13, according to their affidavits filed along with their nomination papers with the Election Commission.

Partywise, the Shiv Sena leads the list with 15 of its 18 elected members admitting to having criminal cases registered against them.

Thane's Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare who has 13 cases against topped the list of candidates with criminal cases against them, followed by Swabhimani Paksha's Raju Shetti with 12 cases and Shivajirao Adhal who has 10 cases against him.

The BJP comes next as 13 of its 23 members have a criminal past.

BJP's Hansraj Ahir from Chandrapur has 11 criminal cases, while Dilip Gandhi from Ahmednagar, Gopal Shetty from Mumbai North and Kirit Somaiya from Mumbai North-East have 10 cases each pending against them.

Two of the seniormost BJP leaders - Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur and Gopinath Munde from Beed - have four and three criminal cases registered against them respectively.

Swabhimani Paksha's Raju Shetty - an ally of the BJP-Shiv Sena - who was elected from Hathkanangle, also figures in the list.

He has been an aggressive farmer activist since several years and this is his second term as a parliamentarian. His first stint was one as an Independent.

From the NCP, Dhananjay Mahadik from Kolhapur and Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil from Madha have one criminal case each against them according to their affidavits filed with the poll panel.

Ashok Chavan of the Congress - who had to quit as the chief minister following his alleged involvement in the Adarsh Society scam - has no criminal case against him.

Shiv Sena MP from Maval Shrirang Barne, who did not manage to complete school, is the richest among the lot with assets worth around Rs. 66 crore.

Among the MPs with a criminal background, the BJP also has the maximum number with a good academic background - eight are graduates and one - Kirit Somaiya from Mumbai North East - has a doctorate, the highest qualification in the state among the current crop of MPs.

Three of the BJP parliamentarians have completed school education (up to Class 10), one has studied till Class 12, while one - Gopal Shetty, who defeated Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress in Mumbai North - never completed school.

NCP's Dhananjay Mahadik is a graduate and Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil has completed Class 10.

Six of the Shiv Sena's newly elected Lok Sabha members - of the 15 with criminal records - are at least graduates. Three completed Class 12 and three others have completed Class 10.

The educational background of Shiv Sena MPs Rahul Shewale from Mumbai South-Central and Shivajirao Adhal from Shirur was categorised in the 'others' section, implying they have some kind of vocational or diploma-level education.

Gadkari, a former BJP president, is passionate about exploring alternative energy sources for the country's progress and is connected with some big infrastructure companies.

His party colleague Munde runs one of the most successful sugar factories in Marathwada, besides being an agricultural landlord.

Youthful BJP MP Sanjay Dhotre from Akola - with three criminal cases and assets worth Rs. 4 crore plus - is a cotton farmer and well versed in farmland issues in the entire Vidarbha region.

Shiv Sena leader Bhawana Gawli, third-time winner from Yavatmal-Washim Lok Sabha constituency, has four criminal cases against her.

Running several prestigious educational institutions in Vidarbha, Gawli, a divorcee, was handpicked by Shiv Sena patriarch late Bal Thackeray to revive the party in eastern Maharashtra.

?Chandrakant Khaire - the fourth-term member from Aurangabad with eight cases and assets worth Rs. 9 crore - runs a traditional small family business of bamboo articles. He is credited with building up the Muslim-dominated tourism city into a Shiv Sena bastion single handedly in the past over two decades.

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