Sharp increase in number of crorepati legislators

Average assets of T.N., Puducherry MLAs also zoom compared with 2011

May 21, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 12, 2016 07:41 pm IST - CHENNAI:

H. Vasanthakumar

H. Vasanthakumar

An analysis of the affidavits filed by winners of the Assembly elections reveals that 83 per cent of them in Puducherry and 76 per cent in Tamil Nadu are crorepatis. Among the four States and one Union Territory whose results were declared on Thursday, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have the highest proportion legislators with declared assets worth over one crore rupees.

In comparison, only 51% of Tamil Nadu’s MLAs and 63% of Puducherry legislators were crorepatis in 2011. Average assets of MLAs in Tamil Nadu will go up to Rs. 8.21 crore from Rs. 3.98 crore in 2011 while the same for Puducherry will be Rs. 13.45 crore, up from Rs. 4.43 crore in 2011. In fact, only one winner in Tamil Nadu has less than Rs. 10 lakh in assets: S. Eswaran of the AIADMK who won from Bhavanisagar.

The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed all 30 winners from Puducherry and had to leave out nine of the 232 declared winners of Tamil Nadu as their affidavits had not been scanned properly by the Election Commission.

In all, the NGO analysed 812 affidavits from four states and a Union Territory; it found that 53% were crorepatis.

With over Rs. 337 crore in assets, Tamil Nadu’s H. Vasanthakumar, who won from Nanguneri for the Congress, is the richest of all 812 winners. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is the third richest legislator in the State, with more than Rs. 113 crore in assets. Ashok Anand of the All India N.R. Congress is Puducherry’s richest winner: he has over Rs. 124 crore in assets.

However, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry winners are better at filing income-tax returns (ITR): only 14% of the former and 10% of the latter have not filed the ITR. Kerala fared the worst, with 60% of winners not filing the ITR. Winners from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry also declared their PAN more than those from Kerala: all from Puducherry declared, while only 3% from Tamil Nadu did not; 24% of Kerala’s winners did not declare PAN.

Educational front

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry do not fare well when it comes to the education level of their winners. Of Puducherry’s 30 winners, 53.3% studied up to Plus-Two or lower; this was the worst among States/UTs which went to polls. The education level of Tamil Nadu’s winners is comparable to Kerala’s: while 40.8% of the winning candidates in Tamil Nadu have studied up to Plus-Two or lower, the figure stood at 40.7% in case of Kerala. West Bengal fared the best, with only 32.4% of winners attending school at least up to Plus-Two.

Of the winners from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, 23.3% and 16.7% respectively are older than 60.

At 37.1%, Kerala has the highest proportion of senior citizens among winners.

ADR found that 34% of Tamil Nadu’s winners and 37% of Puducherry’s legislators have criminal cases pending against them. This was keeping in line with the average of 36% for all territories; Kerala topped at 62%. At the same time, only 19% of Kerala’s winners have serious criminal cases against them. Tamil Nadu has the same proportion, while 13% of Puducherry’s winners face serious criminal charges.

West Bengal peaks at 32%; the five-territory-average is 22%.

There were only 77 women winners among the 812 affidavits that ADR analysed. Assam and Kerala had eight each, while Puducherry had four; Tamil Nadu had 17 and West Bengal 40.

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