Bihar Assembly gets older; cases on over half of MLAs

Bihar Assembly gets older, more than half of elected MLAs face serious criminal charges

123 or 51% have serious criminal charges -- 19 have murder charges while 31 have cases of attempt to murder

An electoral official marks a voter's finger with ink after casting her ballot during the last phase of Bihar state assembly elections at a polling station in Thakurganj on November 7, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

With the verdict of the Bihar assembly elections out, analysis shows that the state's assembly has got older with the number of young MLAs coming down as compared to 2015.

In 2015, 16% of the MLAs were 40 or younger and 53% were between the ages of 41 and 55 but five years down the line, the figures are 14% and 48% respectively, according to PRS Legislative Research.

The number of MLAs in the 56-70-year bracket has risen from 27% to 33% while that above 80 years has also risen from 4% to 5%.

An analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) showed that 115 newly elected MLAs are between 25 and 50 years while 126 are between 51 and 80 years.

Read: Bihar polls: Left parties claim irregularities in final stages of vote counting

Apart from that, more than half of the newly elected lawmakers have serious criminal charges against them.

Analysing 241 of the 243 winners in the Bihar elections, the ADR said, in a separate analysis, a total of 163 MLAs or 68% have declared criminal cases against them in their election affidavits.

Of this, 123 or 51% have serious criminal charges -- 19 have murder charges while 31 have cases of attempt to murder. Eight newly elected lawmakers have cases of crime against women against them.

Among those with serious criminal charges, the RJD has the highest number -- 44 MLAs -- followed by the BJP (37), JD(U) and Congress (11 each), CPI(ML)L (8) and AIMIM (5).

On the women count too, Bihar numbers have come down from 28 to 26 in five years.

When it comes to educational qualifications, the ADR report said, 82 winners have declared their educational qualification to be between Class V pass and Class 12 while 149 are graduates or have a higher qualification. Nine of them are literate while one is a diploma holder.  

The PRS report also said 62% of the MLAs have at least a Bachelor's degree, same as 2015. The number of MLAs with doctorates has increased from 7% to 9%.

In terms of crorepatis, the number has risen from 162 in 2015 to 194 (81%) five years later. The BJP has the highest number of crorepatis at 65, closely followed by the RJD with 64. The JD(U) has 38 crorepati MLAs while the Congress has 14. Four in every five MLAs are crorepatis.

The analysis showed that 61 winners have assets above Rs 5 crore.

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Among the MLAs, Anant Kumar Singh of the RJD is the richest with Rs 68.56 crore. The poorest is also from the RJD -- Ramvriksh Sada who has assets worth Rs 70,000.

Looking at the assets of 96 re-elected MLAs, the ADR said there was a 67% (Rs 2.11 crore) rise in their wealth during the past five years. While their average assets were Rs 3.15 crore in 2015, it rose to Rs 5.26 crore by this year.