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75% new lawmakers in Punjab are crorepatis: report

75% new lawmakers in Punjab are crorepatis: report

Jalandhar: It goes without saying that money and power hand in hand control politics rather than expressing aspirations of the masses. Into this heady mix of politics, AAP emerged offering a chimera of change.

Now believe it or not, every 4 of the lawmakers elected to the House are crorepatis, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Punjab Election Watch (PEW).

One third of the new members in the Assembly have assets valued above Rs 5 crore. Compared to 2017, there has been more than three-fold rise in lawmakers with criminal records, with six of them facing serious charges; one is booked for murder, two facing charges of attempt to murder and three in cases regarding crimes against women.

"33.33% MLAs have assets of more than Rs 5 crore, 23.08% between Rs 2 crore to 5 crore, 27.35% have assets between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore, 11.97% between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh and 4.27% with assets less that Rs 10 lakh", according to Jaskirat Singh of ADR and Parwinder Singh Kitna of PEW.

Further the duo said 63 (69%) out of 92 of AAP MLAs are crorepartis, 17 (94%) out of 18 from Congress are crorepatis and 3 (100%) from SAD are in this category and there also 2 (100%) from BJP, 1 (100%) from BSP and 1 (100%) Independent, according to Indian Express.

This time round in Punjab, the average assets per winning candidate is worth Rs 10.45 crore, where in 2017 it was Rs 11.78 crore.

On party lines, on average AAP's 92 candidates have assets of Rs 7.52 crore—against 6.25 crore in 2017. As for the Congress's 18 candidates, it is Rs 22.73 crore, which in 2017 stood at Rs 14.88 crore.

The Congress can boast of having the five top richest lawmakers and AAP just behind with four. Mohali MLA Kulwant Singh is the richest with Rs 238 crore worth of assets. Congress MLA from Kapurthala, Rana Gurjit Singh has Rs 125 crore worth of assets, whereas AAP's Sunam MLA Aman Arora possesses Rs 95 crore .

What looks like people living on shoe-string budget, AAP's lawmakers including Narinderpal Singh Sawan (30) from Fazilka and Narinder Kaur Bharaj (27) from Sangur possess assets worth Rs 18,370 and Rs 24,409 respectively, making up the MLAs with the lowest assets.

As for the criminal charges, 52 of the 92 MLAs from Aam Aadmi Party face criminal charges. When it comes to the Congress, it is 3 out of 18 winning candidates; two of 3 SAD candidates and one out of 2 winning candidates of BJP have criminal cases against them, according to the report.

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