Lokpal is a good beginning, but more needs to be done

After eight unsuccessful attempts in the last five decades, the Lokpal Bill finally saw light of day on December 18. However, it is important to understand that the Bill, although a good beginning, is not a magic wand that will banish corruption overnight. To be effective, it must be part of a series of parallel actions, so that we have an effective architecture against corruption.

What should that architecture look like? It must include, in the first instance, four other steps: One, reform of funding and financial accountability of political parties. Two, a systematic increase in the neutral intervention of technology into as many areas as possible where the common man has to deal with government. Three, finalisation of a model legal framework ensuring transparency and fair play in all transactions relating to the disposal and acquisition of national resources and government procurement processes. Four, instituting deterrent action in a timebound and exemplary manner for all acts of corruption, which, in turn, presupposes substantive judicial reforms.

Read more at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Lokpal-Bill-has-kindled-hopes-of-curbing-graft-but-more-needs-to-be-done-to-banish-the-menace/articleshow/27692664.cms

Will AAP prove to be good ?

“Providing effective governance is no rocket science.” That’s what Aam Aadmi founder Arvind Kejriwal told ET when congratulated for changing the political discourse in the country.

But now that AAP has agreed to form the government in Delhi with Congress support, it will have to put that to test. Providing effective governance might not be rocket science but it will need a special escape velocity to get out of opposition mode, a role that AAP succeeded in spectacularly even before it was ever elected to anything.

It is undeniable AAP has shaken up politics as we know it. Even President Pranab Mukherjee commented that “participatory democratic movements like Anna Hazare’s” had added a “new dimension” to India’s democratic structure. Mukherjee went off his prepared text to recall that during the Lokpal movement he had been asked to head a group of ministers for talks with Anna. The old order went this way – people chose their representatives who then made laws and implemented them. That is no longer the only way forward, Mukherjee said. Now activists or NGOs can demand a legislation, “insist that you work to adopt a particular model.”

Read more at
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/aap-to-form-govt-now-comes-their-real-test-in-delhi-1298511.html?utm_source=mail&utm_medium=newsletter

How can we ever justify dynasty rule in democracy ?

On March 14 2008, Narendra Modi and Digvijaya Singh appeared together on a panel at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi. It was such a rare event, as top leaders of the two parties have seldom sparred with each other directly in public. It was also very civil and quite stirring. Both know their lines and politics. Neither is known to take any prisoners.

For once, however, Digvijaya, certainly the more experienced and bilingual of the two, was stumped. Modi asked him, how did he justify dynastic rule in his party. Digvijaya recovered quickly, though. This, he said, was common enough in democracies around the world. For evidence, he said, look at America and the Clintons. This is precisely when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in a close battle for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. Digvijaya’s short point was, if nobody is complaining about the Clintons in America, why should we keep complaining about the Gandhis in India.

Read more at

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/help-us-imagine-rahulji/1207462/

Mizoram Assembly Election 2013 : A Brief Profile

by Nitu Maurya

For more information, please visit www.empoweringIndia.org

MLAs 2013: There were 142 candidates contesting the Mizoram Assembly election 2013 for the 40 seats. Among the newly elected MLAs, 34 belong to INC, 5 belong to MNF, and 1 MLA of MPC.

Electoral Performance: The average voter turnout percentage in Mizoram 2013 Assembly Election is 81%. In 2008 election, it was 80.02%.

In 2013 Assembly election, INC won the largest number of 34 seats with 44.61% of the vote share. MNF won 5 seats with 28.66% of the vote share and MPC won 1 seat with 6.15% of the vote share.

In 2008 Assembly election, INC had won the largest number of 32 seats with 38.89% of the vote share. MNF had won 3 seats with 30.65% of the vote share. MPC won 2 seats with 10.38% of the vote share, 2 seats won by ZNP with 10.22% of the vote share and 1 seat won by other party.

Table: 1

Assembly Election, 2013

Assembly Election, 2008

Party

Seats Won

Party Votes%

Seats Won

Party Votes%

INC

34

44.61

32

38.89

MNF

5

28.66

3

30.65

MPC

1

6.15

2

10.38

Other

20.58

3

20.08

Total

40

100.00

40

100.00

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

In 2013 Assembly election, Buddha Dhan Chakma (INC) from Tuichawng constituency won the election with largest vote margin (14,626). While  Er. Lalrinawma (MNF) from Tuikum constituency won with the lowest vote margin (14).

In 2008 Assembly election, Nirupam Chakma (INC) from Tuichawng constituency won the election with largest vote margin (3,112). Conversely, K. Liantlinga (ZNP) from Aizawl South-I constituency won the election with lowest vote margin (28).

The INC retained 28 constituencies in Mizoram in 2008 and 2013 assembly election.

Average assets of MLAs: The average asset per MLA in the Mizoram 2013 Assembly Elections is Rs. 3.10 Crores. Among the parties, the average asset per MLA (34MLAs) for INC is Rs.2.58 Crores, for MNF (5 MLAs) it is Rs.6.60 Crore and for MPC (1 MLAs) it is Rs 3.27 Crores.

The average asset of 26 re-elected MLAs in 2013 election is Rs 2.61 Crores. The average assets of these 26 MLAs in 2008 were Rs. 73.83 Lakh. All 26 re-elected MLAs are belong to INC.

Average Asset per MLA in 2008 Mizoram Assembly Elections was Rs. 57.58 Lakh. Among major parties, the average asset per MLA for INC was 65 Lakh (32 MLAs), for MNF (3 MLAs) was 1.09 Crore, for MPC was Rs. 71 Lakh (2 MLAs), for ZNP was Rs. 1.32 Crore (2 MLAs).

Comparison of Average Assets of MLAs in Assembly Elections 2008 and 2013

Party

Number of MLAs, 2008

Average Assets, 2008

Number of MLAs, 2013

Average Assets, 2013

Average% Increase in Asset

INC

32

65,34,880

34

2,58,02,235

295%

MNF

3

1,09,95,293

5

6,60,51,519

501%

MPC

2

71,64,663

1

3,27,45,000

357%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Table: 3

Average asset increase of re-elected MLAs

Party

Number of re-elected MLAs

Average Assets

Average% Increase in Assets

2013

2008

INC

26

2,61,20,576

73,83,176

254%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

MLAs not declared PAN details: In 2013 Assembly election, 30 (75%) MLAs have not declared their PAN details. In 2008 Assembly election, none of the MLAs had declared their PAN card details.

MLAs with Criminal Cases: None of the MLAs have acknowledged criminal cases in the Mizoram 2013 Assembly Elections.

Among the MLAs in 2008, 3 out of 40 (8%) MLAs had acknowledged criminal cases and all three MLAs were from INC.

Graduate MLAs: In the 2013 Assembly Elections, 17 out 40 (43%) MLAs are graduates. Among parties, 16 (47%) MLAs of INC, 1 (20%) MLAs of MNF are graduates.

Among the MLAs in 2008, 12 out of 40 (30%) MLAs were graduates in Mizoram. Among parties, 11 (34%) MLAs of INC and 1 MLA of ZNP were graduates.

Young MLAs (35 years and below): None of the MLAs are young in the 2013 Assembly Elections. Among the winners of 2008, only 1 MLA from INC was under 35 years.

Women MLAs: None of the women candidates won in 2008 (9 women candidates) as well as 2013 (6 women candidates) Assembly election. This in state where the women voters outnumber the men.

Party Abbreviations:  INC – Indian National Congress, MNF- Mizo National Front, MPC-Mizoram People’s Conference, ZNP- Zoram Nationalist Party

Table: 4

Constituency

3 Constituencies retained by INC in Mizoram 2003 and 2008 Assembly Election

28 Constituencies retained by INC in Mizoram 2008 and 2013 Assembly Election

2 Constituencies retained by INC in Mizoram 2003, 2008 and 2013 Assembly Election

Aizawl East-I

X

Aizawl East-II

X

Aizawl North-I

X

X

X

Aizawl North-II

Aizawl North-III

X

Aizawl South-I

Aizawl South-II

X

Aizawl South-III

X

Aizawl West-I

Aizawl West-II

Aizawl West-III

Chalfilh

X

Champhai North

X

Champhai South

X

Dampa

X

East Tuipui

Hachhek

X

Hrangturzo

Kolasib

X

Lawngtlai East

X

Lawngtlai West

Lengteng

X

Lunglei East

X

Lunglei North

X

Lunglei South

X

Lunglei West

Mamit

X

Palak

Saiha

X

Serchhip

X

X

X

Serlui

X

South Tuipui

X

Tawi

X

Thorang

X

Tuichang

X

Tuichawng

X

Tuikum

Tuirial

X

Tuivawl

X

West Tuipui

X

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Chart: 1

Economic Growth and Party Vote%

Note: Due to non-availability of 2012-13 economic growth data, we put 2013 assembly election vote% data in 2011-12 year.

Chart: 2

Party Vote%

Liberty Institute, New Delhi

Author: Ms Nitu Maurya is a research fellow at Liberty Institute, New Delhi.

Email: nitu@libertyinstitute.org.in, info@libertyinstitute.org.in

http://www.InDefenceofLiberty.org | http://www.EmpoweringIndia.org | http://www.RighttoProperty.org

Lokpal Bill must be passed now

With  Anna Hazare giving his blessings to the latest draft of the Lokpal Bill, there’s little reason to delay its passage in Parliament. Add to this the fact both opposition BJP and UPA ally Samajwadi Party — which had earlier vehemently opposed the Bill — have softened their stand and are willing to facilitate the anti-graft legislation. Taken together, this provides the government with an excellent window to pass the Bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament. With the next session — the final before the 2014 general elections — likely to be wholly dedicated to the Union Budget, it is literally a case of now or never for the Lokpal.

There’s no denying that the almost unanimous eagerness on part of political parties to give effect to an anti-graft ombudsman is directly related to anti-corruption sentiment sweeping the electorate. This was evidenced during the recent round of assembly elections where people voted for good governance and rejected those perceived to be corrupt. Even where the incumbent regime won, tainted candidates were vociferously rebuffed. In this scenario, Congress can make up for lost ground if it is seen as being responsive to civil society’s concerns and pushing through the Lokpal. With Anna Hazare giving his blessings to the latest draft of the Lokpal Bill, there’s little reason to delay its passage in Parliament. Add to this the fact both opposition BJP and UPA ally Samajwadi Party — which had earlier vehemently opposed the Bill — have softened their stand and are willing to facilitate the anti-graft legislation. Taken together, this provides the government with an excellent window to pass the Bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament. With the next session — the final before the 2014 general elections — likely to be wholly dedicated to the Union Budget, it is literally a case of now or never for the Lokpal.
up for lost ground if it is seen as being responsive to civil society’s concerns and pushing through the Lokpal.

Read more at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Government-must-push-through-Lokpal-to-reap-benefits-in-2014/articleshow/27486243.cms

Regional parties becoming prominent

by Abhijit Deb

www.empoweringindia.org

In an era of coalition politics, when the regional parties are gaining prominence in the political map of the country, surprisingly, in north eastern states, most of the regional parties which were the end product of long drawn movement or armed struggle are fast fading into oblivion.

Out of the seven north eastern states only Naga Peoples Front, a regional party which is the lead partner in Democratic Alliance of Nagaland supported by BJP is ruling the state for consecutive third time, keeping in bay the national parties like Congress.

On the other hand the regional party like Mizo National Front (MNF) which was born out of long armed struggle espoused the cause of `sub-nationalism’ joined the mainstream politics after the Mizo accord was signed in 1986. However, the card of `Mizo Nationalism’ the sentiment that fuelled the secessionist movement against India in 1966 has failed to garner votes for the part in the just concluded assembly elections. The party which fought elections on alliance with local parties like Mizo Peoples Conference and Marland Democratic Party could manage to win only 5 seats in last two assembly elections.

The falling electoral fortune of MNF is an indication towards the trend that as the democratic process strengthened by passing of time the focus of the electorate seems to have shifted to basic issues of governance like development and accountability, and the leaders of these movements who acquired political power, were held accountable by voters, sooner or later.

Notably, loss of former chief minister Zoramthanga in assembly election, who is a rebel turned political leader gives credence to the above fact.

Riding on more or less on the same plank of aggressive regionalism, the harbinger of regional politics in the north east, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) which two decades back used to enjoy unparallel popularity, is not even a shadow of its former self..

AGP was the end product of historic Assam movement against migrants led by the influential student organisation All Assam Students Union (AASU).  The Agitation underlined the Assamese yearning for ‘self-identity’, and produced a new set of leaders and a new political party, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which was formed on October 14, 1985.

AGP leaders were drawn from two influential students’ bodies, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP). At the young age of 28, Prafulla Kumar , the student leader became the youngest chief minister of the state in the country. However, the personal aspiration rose over the party ideology and there was split in the party. Differences between two of its main leader late Brighu Phukan and Mahanta dent a serious blow to the party image at large.

On similar lines, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the most prominent insurgent outfit in Assam raised a ‘revolutionary banner’ against the illegal migrants from Bangladesh, and the utter neglect of the people of Assam by the Union government, and sought a solution in creating a Swadhin Asom (Independent Assam),

While AGP and AASU led a political movement, ULFA on other hand was involved in the armed struggle which during last part of the nineties caught the imagination of average Assamese, however, with change in time and ULFA doing a somersault in its ideology the outfit lost people’s support.

On the other hand the support which AGP used to enjoy from AASU died down, as the two time government at the state were accused of huge corruption and training guns on people who once helped them.

Reportedly, the party had a tactic support of ULFA, but the insurgent organisations turned against the party when it started targeting its cadres.

“People had lot of expectations from AGP mainly in solving the foreigner’s issue. But, its leaders all middle and lower middle class and young couldn’t resist the temptation of power and lure of money. In doing so they completely ignored the illegal migrants issue riding on which they were voted to power,” said Anirban Roy, a senior journalist who has tracked the party in its initial days.

The political vacuum created by the decline of AGP is now being filled by the religious minority party All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF),  which has emerged as the principal opposition party in the state with 18 seats in assembly pushing AGP to a distant fourth in state politics after BJP.

Mainly in north east language and region has acquired the nature of ideology of all these parties. If we leave out the Hindi-speaking States, most others are unilingual States and that provided fertile soil for the emergence of regional parties. As language and region coalesce, regionalism took the form of linguistic nationalism. When they are further combined with religion, culture or ethnic identity it becomes a powerful force. However, this very fact of the party in changing socio-political scenario is working against it .

“Big regional parties like AGP have to be more accommodative in a complex state like Assam. Should be representative of  hopes and aspirations of all ethnic communities in multi cultural state. And this is the way forward, if it has to regain its lost glory,” said Neipu Rio, Chief Minister of Nagaland, and president of  Naga Peoples Front, the only regional party in the seven states of North East region, ruling the state of Nagaland for third consecutive term.

Cut to Tripura in last ruled left state in India, the present political status of Indigenous National Party of Tripura (INPT)  a regional party raised to address the hopes and aspirations of tribal in the state and was propped by the congress to tackle the growing left domination. However, INPT lost its track and it former guerrilla chief Bijoy Harngkhwal failed to retain his own seat in the last assembly elections.

The formation of the INPT was pushed through after pressure from the underground National Liberation Front of Tripura, who wanted to unite all tribal nationalist forces in a single party. The INPT is commonly seen as the political branch of NLFT.

Even in tribal belts in the state, ruling left government has made inroads which otherwise should have been the traditional base of the regional parties.

“There is no opposition in Tripura. Congress used INPT to arrest the growth of Marxist rule in the state, it backfired. The alliance government of INPT and Congress of 1988 was a disaster. INPT is a spent force in the state politics,” said a senior journalist of Agartala.

Be it MNF, AGP or INPT all these parties born out of a violent movement espousing the cause of sub-nationalism are now finding it hard to cope with the changing socio-political scenario. The issue of performance, delivery in the democratic setup are taking precedence over the emotional fervour.

Meanwhile, the present political scenario in Meghalaya where there are host of regional issues like the issue of Inner Line Permit ( ILP) and separate Garoland for Garos which regional parties are flaring in order to gain mileage in the electoral politics. Parties like United Democratic Front, Hill State Peoples Democratic Party and number of other regional parties are trying to exploit the local sentiment but, it is not translating into votes in electoral politics. The fall of newly floated party by former lok sabha speaker P A Sangma who is stalwart in state politics is an indication that when it comes to governance electorate are giving preference to the developmental issues.

The state has a dubious distinction of seeing heights of instability which has seen six chief minister in five years time. But in 2013 assembly elections, Congress got near absolute majority which signalled a big change in voting pattern and consolidation of national parties.

“Every party needs a dynamic structure to resist the push and pull of changing times. In case of  most regional parties once the spark of movements they were spearheading got over weakness surfaces and experienced campaigner like Congress latched into it ,” said Roy.

Why do the elections in Mizoram teach us ?

by Abhijit Deb

www.empoweringindia.org

December 12, 2013

On one side a three term old congress government was routed in the nerve center of power-Delhi on anti incumbency factor, on the contrary, a state farthest from it, Mizoram, the party was voted back to power on pro-incumbency wave, riding on a pro-poor land reform policy. It’s surely a stark contrast.

Political analysts are giving credit to the New Land Use Policy (NULP) launched by the ruling  Congress government in the state which did the trick for the party in the assembly elections, where it came back to power for the second consecutive term outperforming an alliance of regional parties led by Mizo National Front. The party bettered its tally to 33 compared to 32 seats in 2008 elections.

In the tiny Christian-dominated state, where election is considered to be the cleanest, with church playing the role of a strict watchdog, the principal opposition party Mizo National Front ( MNF) along with its alliance partners Mizo Peoples Conference ( MPC), and Marland Democratic Front (MDF), failed to put up an impressive show of united strength of regional parties.   

In the Nov 25 Mizoram assembly elections, the ruling Congress swept 33 of the 40 seats (one seat more than in the outgoing house), leaving five seats to the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) and one for the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC).

In 2008 assembly elections MNF won 3 seats, MPC 2 and Marland Democratic Party 1 and Zoram Nationalist Party 1.

While the national issues such as corruption, inflation weighed heavily on the Congress party in other four states which went to polls, contrary in Mizoram a predominantly, agricultural dependent state, welfare schemes of the party strike a chord with the electorate, unlike  Rajasthan where party suffered its worst defeat despite  showering  citizens  with number  of welfare schemes.

It is Congress’ fourth electoral victory after Mizoram attained statehood in 1987, following the signing of the historic 1986 Mizo Accord between the Centre and MNF led by the legendary Pu Laldenga.

Notably, this time the president of MNF party and former chief minister Zoramthanga lost his East Tuipui seat. The MNF chief lost his seat to Congress’ T Sangkunga, a retired government employee.

Whereas, Lal Thanhawla state PCC chief, who will assume the chief minister’s office for a fifth term, won from two assembly seats — Serchhip and Hrangturzo (both in central Mizoram) — defeating his MNF and MPC rivals respectively.

The loss of rebel turned politician Zoramthanga also signaled the falling popularity of his party which has always caught the imagination of the people in the state.
Subsequently, it went on to win assembly elections in 1987, 1998 and 2003, but lost to the Congress for two consecutive terms, including this election indicates that the tide is turning towards the issues of development.

MNF president, Zoramthunga,  formed a three-party opposition alliance comprising the Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA), the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) and the Maraland Democratic Front (MDF), but it was not strong enough to take on the Congress led by chief minister Lal Thanhawla.

Besides, another regional party, the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), played spoilsport.

All eyes were on the ZNP this election, led by former IPS officer Lal Duhoma. But in real terms, the ZNP became a mere vote divider paving the way for an easy win for the Congress. Though social media saw the emergence of the ZNP as a larger third front in Mizoram, political analysts felt they were just a nightmare for the MDA and nothing more.

“The ZNP wave was there, but too weak to contest the established parties. However, the small share of vote it managed was good enough to disturb the Mizoram Democratic Alliance’s concentration of votes. The bigger the ZNP wave, the bigger the margin of the Congress victory,” said a political analyst.

The ZNP has formed a partnership with the Congress in the Aizawl Municipal Council, but they decided to go it alone in the assembly polls.

(ZNP) is a political party came to existence as a result of  Lalduhoma’s factions split from the MNF.  In both 2003 and 2008 state elections, ZNP party won 2 seats, however this election it couldn’t even open its account.

Out of the 38 seats ZNP contested, the party came second in two seats, while in rest of the seats it managed to get a vote share within range of 15-28 per cent, virtually eating into the vote share of MNF and other local parties.

.If we talk about the vote share of the parties, MNF it appears that the party is steadily losing its support base with 31 per cent vote share in 2003 it came down to 30.65 in 2008 elections, and this time around with only five seats in its kitty the figure remained more or less the same.

While congress increased its share of vote percentage marginally increased to 33 per cent compared to last assembly elections, the swing of around 2 per cent of votes in the favor translated into winning seats.

Though NULP scheme was used as a trump card by congress in this election but, in last assembly elections in 2008, other than the land scheme, the anti incumbency factor which bought the party back to power after 10 year rule of Mizo National Front ( MNF).

No doubt, the Congress’s pilot project, the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), has also played a key role in the victory, felt many including the opposition. The Rs 2,800-crore project had covered 1.35 lakh families across the state and was expected to bring about a sea-change in rural economy.

“I cannot say if NLUP can bring about an economic change for poor farmers, but it has benefitted many in rural areas,” said R Lalthangliana, the vice-president of MNF.

The assembly election saw a high turnout of 81 per cent. In a state where there are more women voters than men, all six female candidates lost the polls. 

More than anything else, the Mizoram election results show us nothing can ever be predicted in a democracy.

 

 

 

 

What do the state election results actually mean ?

The big question after the recent state elections is whether Narendra Modi is a glossy wrapper or has he actually sweetened the candy inside. Current post-poll wisdom suggests that we may have to scale down our estimation of the Modi factor. BJP may win in Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, but has Modi raised the incremental margin of victory for his party? The truth will soon be out!

Squeaking past the Congress in Chattisgarh, as some exit surveys suggest, is not good enough. This would merely be a repeat of BJP`s 2008 performance when Modi was yet to acquire a national presence. In Madhya Pradesh, projections show that BJP will trump Congress by a healthy 5% in vote share, but how different is that from the figures of the previous election?

Read more at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/A-minimal-Modi-factor/articleshow/26976281.cms

Madhya Pradesh Assembly Election 2013

Nitu Maurya

For more information, please visit www.empoweringIndia.org

Candidates 2013: There are 2583 candidates contesting the Madhya Pradesh Assembly election 2013 for 230 seats. Among 2583 total candidates, 229 candidates are belonging to BJP, 226 candidates belonging to BSP, 228 candidates belonging to INC and 1096 candidates belonging to IND.

Votes Polled: In 2008 Assembly election, Shiv Raj Singh (BJP) from Budhni constituency won the election with largest vote margin (41,525). On the other hand, Ramcharitra (BJP) from Devsar constituency won the election with lowest vote margin (1).

In 2003 Assembly election, Babulal Gour (BJP) from Govindpura consutitency won the election with largest vote margin (64,212). On the other hand, Bele Sunita (INC) from Amla constituency won the election with lowest vote margin (398).

In 2003 and 2008 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, 118 constituencies, reelected representatives of the same party. BJP had retained 102 out of 118 constituencies, and INC had kept their hold on 16 constituencies (See Table 4).

Table: 1 The tally in 2008 Assembly Election

Party

Total Candidates 3179

Average Turn Out (69%)

Total seats 230

BJP

228

37.64%

143

INC

228

32.39%

71

BSP

228

8.97%

7

SP

187

1.99%

1

Other parties

910

10.78%

4

IND

1398

8.23%

3

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Average assets of candidates: The average asset per candidate contesting in the 2013 Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections is Rs.3.38 crores. Among parties, average asset per candidate for BJP (229 candidates) Rs 4.04 crore; for INC candidates (228) the average is Rs 5.33 crore, and the average assets of BSP candidates (226) is Rs 76.62 lakh in 2013 assembly election.

In 2008, the average Asset per candidate (3179 candidates) in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections was Rs. 34.90 lakhs. Among major parties, the average asset per candidate for INC was Rs 1.61 Crores (228 candidates), for BJP was 1.06 Crores (228 candidates), for BSP was 57.29 lakhs (228 candidates), for BJSH was 46.70 lakhs (201 candidates), and for SP was Rs 21 lakhs (187 candidates).

Table:2

Comparison of Average Assets of Candidates in Assembly Elections 2008 and 2013

Party

Number of Candidates, 2008

Average Assets, 2008

Number of Candidates, 2013

Average Assets, 2013

Average% Increase in Asset

BJP

228

1,05,93,923

229

4,04,53,907

282%

INC

228

1,59,88,572

228

5,33,20,237

233%

BSP

228

57,29,256

226

76,62,751

34%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Average Asset per MLA in 2008 Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections was Rs. 1.51 crores. Among major parties, the average asset per MLA for INC was 2.55 Crore (71 MLAs), for BJP was 1.12 Crore (143 MLAs), for BSP was 22.34 lakhs (7 MLAs) and for BJSH was 56.79 lakhs (5 MLAs).

49 MLAs of INC and 86 MLAs of BJP re-contesting in Madhya Pradesh Assembly election 2013. Average increase in the assets of 49 re-contesting MLAs of INC between 2008 (1.10 crore) to 2013 (3.89 crore) election is 253% and 235% increase in average assets of 86 re-contesting MLAs of BJP between 2008 (2.93 crore) to 2013 (9.82 crore).

Table: 3 Increase in Average Asset of re-contesting MLAs

Party

Total Number of re-contesting candidates

Average Assets in, 2008 Election

Average Assets in,  2013 Election

Average% Increase in Asset

BJP

86

1,10,54,815

3,89,91,478

253%

INC

49

2,93,54,155

9,82,09,316

235%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Candidates not declared PAN details: In the Madhya Pradesh 2013 Assembly Elections, 34 out 229 (15%) candidates of BJP, 106 out 226 (47%) candidates of BSP and 42 out of 228 (18%) candidates of INC have not declared their PAN details.

In 2008, 2376 out of 3179 (75%) candidates had not declared their PAN details in their election affidavits filed for state assembly elections. Among the parties, 101 (44%) candidates of BJP, 95 (42%) candidates of INC, 133 (58%) candidates of BSP, and 142 (76%) candidates of SP had not declared PAN details.

Among the MLAs in 2008, 99 out of the 230 (43%) MLAs had not declared their PAN details. Among the parties, 66 (46%) MLAs of BJP, 26 (37%) MLAs of INC, 4 (80%) MLAs of BSP, had not declared PAN details.

Candidates with Criminal Cases: In the Madhya Pradesh 2013 Assembly Elections, 91 (40%) candidates of INC, 61 (27%) candidates from BJP and 54 (24%) candidates from BSP have acknowledged criminal cases in their nomination affidavits.

In the 2008 assembly election, 447 out of 3179 (14%) candidates had acknowledged criminal cases against them. Among the parties, 68 (30 %) candidates of INC, 48 (21%) candidates of BJP, 41 (18%) candidates of BSP, 46 (23%) candidates of BJSH, and 29 (15%) candidates of SP had acknowledged criminal cases.

Among the MLAs, 58 out of 230 (25%) MLAs had acknowledged criminal cases against them. Among the parties, 28 (20%) MLAs of BJP, 24 (34% MLAs) of INC, 3 (43%) MLAs of BSP, 2 (40%) MLAs of BJSH and 1 MLA of SP had criminal cases against them.

Graduate Candidates: In the 2013 Assembly Elections, 59 (26%) candidates of BJP, 33 (15%) candidates of BSP and 61 (27%) candidates INC are graduates.

In the Rajasthan 2008 Assembly Elections, 382 out of 3179 (12%) candidates were graduates. Among the parties, 46 (20%) candidates of BJP, 45 (20%) candidates of INC, 31 (14%) candidates of BSP and 132 (10%) independent candidates were graduates.

Among the MLAs, 47 out of 230 (20%) MLAs were graduates in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections 2008. Among parties, 31 (22%) MLAs of BJP, 13 (18%) MLAs of INC, 1 (14%) MLA of BSP and 1 (33%) MLA of independents were graduates.

Young Candidates (35 years and below): In the Madhya Pradesh 2013 Assembly Elections, 18 (8%) candidates of BJP, 55 candidates of BSP and 26 (11%) candidates INC are young.

In the 2008 Election, 851 out 3179 (27%) candidates were young. Among parties, 12 (5%) candidates of BJP, 23 (10%) candidates of INC, 47 (21%) candidates of BSP and 482 (37%) independent candidates were young.

Among the MLAs, 17 out of 230 (7%) MLAs were young. Among parties, 8 MLAs of BJP, 7 MLAs of INC and 1 MLA of BSP and BJSH each were young.

Contesting Women: In the 2013 Assembly Elections, 27 (12%) candidates of BJP, 23 (10%) candidates of BSP and 23 (10%) candidates of INC are women.

In the Madhya Pradesh 2008 Assembly Elections, 226 out 3179 (7%) candidates were women.  Among the parties, 29 (13%) candidates from INC, 23 (10%) candidates from BJP, 13 (6%) candidates of BSP were women.

Among the winners of 2008 election, 25 out of 230 (11%) were women. Among the parties, 8 (11%) MLAs of INC, 15 (10%) of BJP, 1 (20%) MLA of BJSH were women.

Nitu Maurya is a research fellow at Liberty Institute, New Delhi.

Party Abbreviations: INC – Indian National Congress, BJP – Bhartiya Janata Party, BSP- Bahujan Samaj Party, SP- Samajwadi Party, BJSH- Bharatiya Jan Shakti, IND- Independent

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Table: 4

MP Assembly Elections 2003 and 2008

118 Constituencies retained by parties (BJP-102 and INC-16)

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Agar

X

Chanderi

Indore-3

Mangawan

X

Sagar

X

Alirajpur

X

Chandla

Indore-4

X

Manpur

X

Sailana

X

Alot

Chhatarpur

Indore-5

X

Mauganj

Sanchi

Amarpatan

Chhindwara

Jabalpur Cantt.

X

Mehgaon

Sanwer

Amarwara

Chitrakoot

Jabalpur Paschim

X

Morena

Sarangpur

X

Ambah

X

Chitrangi

Jabalpur Purba

Multai

Sardarpur

Amla

Churai

Jabalpur Uttar

X

Mungaoli

Satna

X

Anuppur

Churhat

X

Jabera

Murwara

X

Saunsar

X

Ashok Nagar

X

Dabra

Jaisinghnagar

X

Nagada-Khachrod

Sehore

X

Ashta

X

Damoh

X

Jaitpur

Nagod

X

Semariya

Ater

Datia

Jaora

Narela

Sendhawa

X

Badnagar

X

Deori

X

Jatara

X

Narsinghgarh

X

Seoni

X

Badnawar

X

Deotalab

X

Jawad

X

Narsingpur

Seoni-Malwa

Badwah

X

Depalpur

Jhabua

Naryoli

X

Sewda

Badwani

X

Devsar

X

Jobat

Neemuch

X

Shahpura

Bagali

X

Dewas

X

Joura

Nepanagar

X

Shajapur

X

Bahoriband

X

Dhar

X

Junnardeo

Niwari

Shamshabad

X

Baihar

X

Dharampuri

Kalapipal

Niwas

X

Sheopur

Balaghat

X

Dhauhani

X

Karera

Panagar

X

Shivpuri

X

Bamori

X

Dimani

X

Kasrawad

Pandhana

X

Shujalpur

X

Banda

Dindori

Katangi

Pandhurna

X

Sidhi

Bandhavgarh

X

Dr. Ambedkar Nagar-Mhow

Keolari

X

Panna

Sihawal

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Constituency

BJP

INC

Barghat

X

Gadarwara

Khandwa

X

Pansemal

Sihora

X

Bargi

X

Gandhwani

Khargapur

Parasia

X

Silwani

Barwara

Garoth

Khargone

X

Paraswada

Singrauli

Basoda

X

Ghatiya

Khategaon

X

Patan

Sirmour

Beohari

X

Ghoradongri

X

Khilchipur

Pathariya

X

Sironj

X

Berasia

X

Gohad

Khurai

Pawai

X

Sohagpur

X

Betul

X

Gotegaon

Kolaras

X

Petlawad

Sonkatch

X

Bhagwanpura

X

Govindpura

X

Kotma

X

Pichhore

X

Sumawali

Bhainsdehi

Guna

Kukshi

X

Pipariya

Surkhi

X

Bhander

X

Gunnaor

Kurwai

X

Pohari

Susner

X

Bhikangaon

X

Gurh

X

Lahar

X

Prithvipur

Suwasra

X

Bhind

Gwalior

Lakhnadon

X

Pushprajgarh

X

Tarana

X

Bhitarwar

Gwalior East

Lanji

X

Raghogarh

X

Tendukheda

Bhojpur

Gwalior Rural

Maharajpur

Raigaon

X

Teonthar

Bhopal Dakshin-Paschim

X

Gwalior South

Maheshwar

Rajgarh

Thandla

Bhopal Madhya

Harda

X

Mahidpur

Rajnagar

Tikamgarh

Bhopal Uttar

X

Harsud

X

Maihar

Rajpur

X

Timarni

Biaora

Hatpipliya

Malhara

Rampur-Baghelan

Udaipura

Bichhiya

Hatta

X

Malhargarh

Ratlam City

Ujjain Dakshin

X

Bijawar

X

Hoshangabad

X

Manasa

Ratlam Rural

Ujjain Uttar

X

Bina

X

Huzur

Manawar

Rau

X

Vidisha

X

Budhni

X

Ichhawar

X

Mandhata

Rehli

X

Vijaypur

X

Burhanpur

Indore-1

X

Mandla

X

Rewa

X

Vijayraghogarh

Chachoura

X

Indore-2

X

Mandsour

X

Sabalgarh

Waraseoni

X

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Table: 5

Assembly Election year

Total candidates

Turnout %

1993

3729

60.52%

1998

2510

60.22%

2003

2171

67.25%

2008

3179

69.28%

Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

Chart: 1Source: www.empoweringIndia.org

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http://www.livemint.com/Politics/rup6jIDYlgpiRZvzcEe8EK/Delhi-assembly-polls-promises-to-keep.html