Bhubaneswar: There has been a gradual rise in the number of the elected members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly having criminal cases.
According to a joint report by the Odisha Election Watch (the state chapter of National Election Watch) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), of the 146 MLAs elected to the Assembly in 2019, 67 (46%) MLAs have criminal cases pending against them. Of 147 MLAs analysed during Odisha Assembly elections in 2014, 52 (35%) had criminal cases.
Besides, 49 (34%) elected MLAs in 2019 elections have been booked for serious criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping. Of 147 MLAs analysed during Odisha Assembly elections in 2014, 41 (28%) MLAs had serious criminal cases.
In terms of party-wise figures, 46 (41%) of 112 MLAs from the BJD, 14 (61%) outof 23 MLAs from the BJP and 6 (67%) of 9 MLAs from the Congress have criminal cases while 33(30%) of 112 MLAs from BJD, 10 (44%) of 23 MLAs from BJP and 5 (56%) of 9 MLAs from the Congress have serious criminal cases.
The report further states that the percentage of the MLAs having criminal cases has steadily gone up since the 2009 Assembly elections.
While 33% of the elected MLAs had criminal cases in 2009, their number went up to 35% in 2014 and 46% in 2019.
Similarly, the percentage of the MLAs having serious criminal cases has also gone up since 2009 Assembly elections. While 21% of the elected MLAs had criminal cases in 2009, their number went up to 28% in 2014 and 34% in 2019, the report added.