Chandigarh, March 15 (IANS) With over 80 per cent millionaires and the average assets of each newly-elected MLA in Punjab amouning to Rs 11.78 crore, the new state assembly is quite a millionaires’ club.
Data analysed by the Punjab Election Watch (PEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows that 95 of the 117 members of the assembly are millionaires. Each of these have declared assets of over Rs 1 crore.
Still, the new assembly has lesser number of millionaires, given that 88 per cent (103) MLAs in the previous assembly were in the club.
“The average assets per MLA who won in the 2017 assembly elections is Rs 11.78 crore, whereas average assets of each candidate was Rs 3.49 crore. In 2012, the average assets of 117 MLAs was Rs 10.10 crore,” a spokesperson for the ADR said on Wednesday.
All 15 MLAs of Shiromani Akali Dal and three of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are millionaires.
As many as 87 per cent of the 77 MLAs of the Congress, which has returned to power after a decade with 77 seats, are millionaires.
Only 40 per cent of Aam Aadmi Party’s MLAs are millionaires.
On an average, Akali Dal legislators are on top with assets of Rs 14.54 crore each, followed by the Congress at Rs 12.43 crore, the AAP at Rs 8.33 crore and the BJP at Rs 5.20 crore.
In the new assembly, 14 per cent legislators have declared criminal cases against themselves, including murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery and others.
Women, who constitute 47 per cent of Punjab’s 1.98 crore electorate, have a dismal representation in the new assembly.
Only six legislators, or five per cent, have been elected this time — making it a male-dominated assembly.
In the 2012 assembly elections, 14 women legislators, or 12 per cent of the total strength, were elected.
Only 44 per cent of the new legislators are between the age of 25 and 50, whereas 56 per cent are aged between 51 to 80.
One legislator, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is aged 89.
Badal was the oldest serving Chief Minister in the country.
In the new assembly, 60 per cent legislators are graduates or above while 38 per cent have studied up to 5th to 12th class.