The recently concluded Assembly polls saw richer candidates and more candidates with criminal cases against them winning the seats than in 2016. Out of the 126 candidates who were declared winners in the recent elections, 34 had declared criminal cases against them compared with 14 five years ago, according to data by Assam Election Watch (AEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms.
Of the 34 that won this time, 28 declared serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder and crimes against women, The Hindu reported, adding that such candidates comprise 22% of those elected.
In party-wise tally of candidates with criminal records, the Congress tops the chart with 12 of its 29 winners having declared criminal cases against them. The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), follows with 10 candidates with criminal records out of 16 winners.
The BJP has nine of its 60 candidates with criminal history, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) has one each such candidate. Akhil Gogoi, the lone independent candidate, has several criminal cases.
“Among the 126 winners this time, 85 are crorepatis. The number is 13 more than in 2016,” AER’s State coordinator Tasaduk Ariful Hussain was quoted as saying.
In terms of assets, the BJP has 43 candidates, while the Congress has 21, followed by eight each of AGP and AIUDF, and three of Bodoland People’s Front who declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. The AIUDF’s Sirajuddin Ajmal is the richest candidate with assets of more than Rs 111 crore.
The average of assets per winner of mandate 2021 is ₹4.59 crore compared to ₹2.45 crore in 2016, the analytical report said. According to the report, the assets of 67 re-elected MLAs grew by an average of Rs 1.98 crore from 2016 to 2021.
On May 2, the BJP won the Assam Assembly elections, beatingthe incumbency factor as well as massive anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) sentiments. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal won from Majuli constituency, Finance and Health Minister and BJP’s star campaigner Himanta Biswa Sarma won from Jalukbari for the fifth straight term. Incarcerated anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi won from Sibsagar, according to Assam assembly election results.
The BJP won or led in a total of 58 seats while its ally AGP won or led in nine and the UPPL in six. Sonowal said the people had blessed them. “A victory for Barak-Brahmaputra, Hills & Plains. Thank you Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi,” he said. “We can say for sure that the BJP will form government in Assam. We are coming back to power with our partners AGP and UPPL,” Sonowal told reporters. Sarma said the BJP will soon form the government in the state and the party will decide who will be made the next chief minister.