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India’s New Parliament To Have Highest Proportion Of Lawmakers With Criminal Charges

India's new parliament to have highest proportion of lawmakers with criminal charges

NEW DELHI, This newly elected Indian Parliament’s lower house, or Lok Sabha, will have the highest proportion of lawmakers with criminal cases against them and will also be the richest since 2004, local daily The Hindu online reported Sunday.

Over a third or 34 percent of new Members of Parliament face criminal charges, the report quoted data from the Association for Democratic Reforms’ (ADR) analysis of election affidavits filed before the Election Commission of India (ECI) as saying.

This came against 30 percent in 2009 and 24 percent in 2004, said the report.

Over a third of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) new MPs face criminal charges and over a fifth face serious criminal charges, said the report.

For the Congress, the proportion is lower at 18 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

The states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar account for the highest rates of criminal cases in their lawmakers.

With 82 percent of its members worth over 10 million rupees ( 160,000 U.S. dollars) each, this will also be the richest known Lok Sabha, compared to 2009’s 58 percent and 2004’s 30 percent, said the report.

The BJP won a crushing victory in the Lok Sabha election and has an absolute majority of 282 seats in the 543-seat house. The Congress has won only 48 seats.

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