In UP, Punjab and Goa, increase in MLAs without criminal records

There has been a decrease in the number of members of legislative assembly (MLAs) with criminal records in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa of the five states that elected new state governments, according to our analysis of data compiled by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an advocacy.

Of 690 MLAs elected in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, 27.8 per cent (192) have a criminal record, while 20 per cent (140) face serious criminal charges, such as murder, kidnapping and extortion, the data show.

While the number of MLAs with criminal records declined in three of five states, the number of MLAs with serious criminal charges increased in all states, except Manipur.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept Uttar Pradesh with a record 312 of 403 seats, and the Congress emerged as the single largest party in three of five states.

As many as 1,000 candidates contesting the elections in the five states had criminal charges against them and 850 candidates had serious criminal charges.

There was a 19.2 per cent rise in the number of MLAs without a criminal record in Uttar Pradesh in 2017 over 2012, the largest increase in crime-free lower-house legislators among the five states.

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