State

52 sitting MLAs in Odisha assembly have criminal cases: Report

Bhubaneswar: Fifty-two MLAs of the 147-member Odisha Legislative Assembly have criminal charges, of whom 41 legislators have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, according to an analysis done by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Keeping in view the recent Supreme Court judgement on criminalisation of politics, the ADR issued a release on the criminal background of the sitting MLAs and MPs.

"It is seen that out of 147 MLAs, whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 52 MLAs or 35 per cent of the total MLAs in the state, had declared pending criminal cases against themselves at the time of contesting the elections held in 2014," an official statement released by Odisha Election Watch, which is an affiliate of ADR, said.

Among the political parties, the ruling BJD has the maximum number of MLAs with criminal cases (32) followed by Congress' with 9 MLAs and BJP with 8 MLAs, it said.

In regard to the status of Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha with declared criminal cases against themselves, it said out of 21 MPs from the state whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 3 (14 per cent of total MPs from Odisha) have declared cases against themselves.

One of the Lok Sabha MP from BJD has declared serious criminal cases pending. Two MPs from BJD and one from BJP have declared criminal cases against themselves, it said.

Out of the 10 Rajya Sabha MPs from Odisha whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, two have declared criminal cases. However, none has declared serious criminal cases pending against themselves.

The ADR noted that almost all the major political parties in Odisha have winners with declared criminal cases. -PTI

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