More than half of the newly-elected legislators in the 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly have criminal cases against them.
To be precise, 96 MLAs, accounting to 55 % of the Assembly strength, have declared that they have criminal cases registered against them. Of them, 86 (57% of their strength) belong to the YSR Congress Party headed by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy who himself is facing a string of cases pertaining to the alleged illegal assets. The party has pulled off a landslide victory, winning 150 seats in the assembly.
According to an analysis done by the Andhra Pradesh Election Watch (APEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) based on the affidavits submitted by the candidates at the time of filing nominations, 55 MLAs have serious criminal cases pending against them.
As many as 9 out of 23 MLAs from TDP, and sole MLA from Jana Sena Party are also facing criminal cases against them.
Crime against women
Six MLAs have declared cases related to crime against women such as assault or criminal force against women with intent to outrage her modesty, word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of women.
One YSRCP MLA, P Ramakrishna Reddy has declared case related to murder while ten MLAs have declared cases related to attempt to murder. Seven MLAs said in their affidavits that they have cases of kidnapping against them.
Eight MLAs have declared convicted cases against them.
The report also said that seven MLAs have declared cases related to kidnapping.
The APEW and ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 174 of the 175 MLAs in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, including 160 men and 14 women.
YSRCP MLA Karanam Dharmari from Chodavaram constituency was not analysed due to the unavailability of his complete and properly scanned affidavit on the Election Commission’s website, the ADR report said.
Scores of Crorepatis
Of the 174 MLAs, 163 (94 percent) are crorepatis. The report said that a total of 140 (93 percent) of the 150 MLAs analysed from YSRCP, 22 (96 percent) of 23 from TDP and one from JSP have declared assets worth more than ₹1 crore.
The average asset per MLA is ₹27.87 crore. The average asset per MLA for 150 YSRCP candidates is Rs 22.41 crore while it is ₹64.61 crore for 23 TDP candidates.
Chief Minister-elect, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, caretaker Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his brother-in-law and Telugu actor Nandumuri Balakrishna are the top three MLAs in the new assembly having the highest declared movable and immovable assets.
Naidu (Kuppam constituency) tops with ₹668 crore, followed by Jagan (Pulivendula ) ₹510 crore and Balakrishna (Hindupur) ₹274 crore. Jagan with ₹38 crore and Naidu with ₹14 crore figure in the top three MLAs who have highest total income declared in income-tax returns. The third one is Meda Mallikarjuna Reddy (YSRCP MLA from Rajampet) with ₹16 crore.
At the other end of the spectrum are the three “low asset MLAs” Nagulapalli Dhanalakshmi, (YSRCP, Rampachodavaram), ₹6.75 lakh, Dola Sree Bala Veeranjaneyaswamy (TDP, Kondepi), ₹25 lakh and K Adimulam, (YSRCP, Satyavedu) ₹25 lakh.
Last week, the Hyderabad-based Forum for Good Governance said that of the 17 Members of Parliament (MP) elected to the Lok Sabha from Telangana, 10 had police cases registered against them.
With 52 cases, BJP’s Bapurao Soyam from Adilabad had the highest number of cases.
Interestingly, the ADR analysis shows that the average assets of 55 re-elected MLAs fielded by various parties increased from ₹29.97 crore in 2014 to ₹47.99 crore in 2019, registering an increase of about 60 % in five years.