Lesser criminal profile legislators this time

Punjab Legislative Assembly (PHOTO: punjabassembly.nic.in)

The new Punjab Assembly will have lesser criminal profile legislators as compared to the previous one in 2012. As per the data released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), out of the 117 legislators only 16 (14 per cent) have declared criminal cases against them. On the other hand, in 2012, 19 (16 per cent) legislators had been facing criminal charges against them.

Surprisingly, 11 (9 per cent) legislators have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery, etc. However, in 2012, 5 (4 per cent) MLAs had declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Congress legislator from Raja Sansi has been facing charges of crime against women. In case of party wise legislators, 9 (12 per cent) out of 77 from Congress, 4 (20 per cent) out of 20 from AAP, One (7 per cent) out of 15 from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and 2 (100 per cent) out of 2 from Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Out of the 117 newly elected legislators, 95 (81 per cent) are crorepatis. Whereas, in 2012, 103 (88 per cent) legislators were crorepatis. Rana Gurjit Singh, a Congress legislator from Kapurthala is the richest among others with assets worth nearly Rs 170 Crore. Punjab's former deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, with assets worth Rs 102 Crore is behind Rana. Aam Adami Party (AAP) legislator stands third in this list with assets worth Rs 66 Crore. Adding to this, 59 legislators (50 per cent) have assets over 5 Crore, 36 (31 per cent) have declared assets between Rs 1 to 5 Crore. 14 legislators (12 per cent) have assets below Rs one Crore while just eight legislators (7 per cent) have below Rs 25 lakh assets.

Three AAP legislators are the poorest among others. Rupinder Kaur Ruby worth assets of Rs 1.74 lakh are the poorer. Other two AAP legislators, Kulwant Singh Pandori from Sangrur's Mehal Kalan seat having assets worth Rs 2.70 lakh and Pirmal Singh Dhaula, from Barnala's Bhadaur constituency have assets worth Rs 3 lakh. Likewise, 45 legislators (38 per cent) have studied up to intermediate level while 70 (60 per cent) are graduates or above. 51 (44 per cent) legislators are between the age of 25 to 50 years while 65 (56 per cent) are between the age of 51 to 80 years. Former Punjab chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal (89) is the oldest legislator in the newly elected Assembly.

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