Gujarat's Dalit face, Jignesh Mevani, who fought and won as Independent with Congress support from Vadgam with a comfortable margin of over 19,000 votes, is the poorest MLA of the 182 legislators who were elected to the state assembly in the just concluded polls. While Mevani's assets value Rs 10.50 lakh, the richest MLA (Botad) is former BJP minister Saurabh Patel, having total assets worth Rs 123.79 crore.

An analysis of assets of and criminal cases against all the 182 MLAs, carried out by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the basis of the affidavits they submitted before the Election Commission of India, says that out of the 182 MLAs analysed, 47 (26%) MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves, as against 57 (31%) among those who won in the Gujarat Assembly elections in 2012, 57 (31%)

The number of MLAs with "serious criminal cases" has also gone down, says the analysis. Thus, this time 33 (18%) MLAs have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery etc. though during Gujarat Assembly elections in 2012, 24 (13%) MLAs had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

While two MLAs, Maheshbhai Vasava (Bhartiya Tribal Party) and Bhaveshbhai Katara (Congress) have declared cases related to murder (IPC section 302), six MLAs with declared cases related to attempt to murder, 6 MLAs have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307).

Further, says the analysis, one MLA namely Jethabhai Bharwad (BJP) from Shehra constituency has declared case related to rape (IPC Section 376) against himself, adding, 18 out of 99 MLAs from BJP, 25 out of 77 MLAs from INC, one of the two MLAs from the Bhartiya Tribal Party, the lone Nationalist Congress Party MLA, and two of the three Independent MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Further, says the analysis, 12 BJP MLAs, 17 (22%) out of 17 Congress MLAs, one MLA each from the Bhartiya Tribal Party and the Nationalist Congress Party, two Independent MLAs have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

The analysis further says that out of the 182 newly elected MLAs, 141 (77%) are crorepatis, as against 134 (74%) MLAs who were elected in the 2012 polls, adding, partywise crorepati details show that 84 BJP and 54 Congress MLAs have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

The average of assets per MLA in the Gujarat 2017 assembly elections is Rs. 8.46 crore, the analysis says, adding in 2012, the average assets MLAs analyzed was Rs 8.03 crore. Partywise details show that verage assets per MLA for 99 BJP MLAs analysed is Rs 10.64 crore, as against Rs 5.85 crore for 77 Congress MLAs. The two Bhartiya Tribal Party MLAs have average assets worth Rs 2.71 crore, and three Independent MLAs have average assets of Rs. 53.86 lakh.

Following Saurabh Patel, who belongs to the well-known Ambani family, those who have next highest assets are BJP's Dhanjibhai Patel (Makson), who won from Wadhwan (Rs 113.47 crore), and Congress' Jawaharbhai Chavda, who won from Manavadar (Rs 103.67 crore).

Source: Counterview.net

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