165 of Maharashtra's 288 new lawmakers have criminal cases

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Mumbai, Oct 21: A whopping 165 of the 288 newly-elected legislators in Maharashtra have criminal cases against them, with 115 charged with serious offences of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women and communal disharmony, a watchdog said on Tuesday.

Among them, 51 (31 percent) already have charges framed against them in various courts of law, said a study by the Maharashtra Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (MEW-ADR).

Three legislators, including two from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and one from Shiv Sena have murder cases lodged, while 15, including five from the BJP, seven from the Shiv Sena, two from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and an Independent, have cases of attempt to murder against them.

In crimes against women, 11 legislators, including six from the Shiv Sena and five from the BJP, have cases against them, while eight have admitted to cases pertaining to sexual assault or criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty against them, the MEW-ADR said.

Three legislators have cases of causing communal disharmony, while 14 - including six from the Shiv Sena, five from the BJP, two from the NCP and one from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) - are charged with robberies or dacoities.

Nine legislators, including five from the NCP, three from the BJP and one from the Shiv Sena have cases related to kidnappings against them.

The BJP, with 122 legislators making it the single largest party in the 288-member legislature, has 74 legislators (61 percent) with criminal cases, while 48 (76 percent) of the total 63 Shiv Sena legislators, 15 lawmakers (36 percent) of the 42 Congress legislators and 18 legislators (44 percent) of the 41 NCP lawmakers have criminal cases against them.

A maximum number of BJP's 46 legislators, Shiv Sena's 35, NCP's 18 and Congress' 10 have serious criminal cases lodged against them, the MEW-ADR said in the party-wise analysis of the sworn affidavits of the legislators.

On the assets front, a staggering 253 (88 percent) of the 288 new legislators are crorepatis.

They include 80 (28 percent) with total assets worth over Rs.10 crore, 10 with assets of more than Rs.50 crore and four with assets worth more than Rs.100 crore.

The BJP has the largest number of crorepatis at 104, followed by Shiv Sena's 54, NCP's 39 and 38 of the Congress with assets worth more than Rs.1 crore.

IANS

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