More than a quarter of the 90 MLAs in the newly-elected Chhattisgarh Assembly have declared in their affidavits that they have criminal cases pending against them, the Association for Democratic Reforms said in a report published on Friday.
These include 19 MLAs of the Congress, three legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and two of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh. Thirteen of the 24 legislators have been booked under serious charges such as assault and criminal intimidation.
In the previous Assembly, 15 MLAs, or 17% of the total, had declared they were facing criminal cases.
The Congress defeated the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly elections in the state, results for which were announced on Tuesday. The party won 68 of the 90 seats, while the saffron party was reduced to 15.
Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel, who won from Patan constituency, has declared that he faces charges of voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty (under Indian Penal Code Section 332), and criminal conspiracy (Indian Penal Code Section 120 B), among others. Baghel is among the frontrunners in the race for the chief minister. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is expected to announce his decision later on Saturday.
Congress MLA Ashish Kumar Chhabra, elected from Bemetara, has declared that he faces a case related to an attempt to murder.
Two of the five MLAs of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh also face criminal cases. The party’s Pramod Kumar Sharma, elected from Balodabazar, has declared a case related to “causing death by negligence’ (Indian Penal Code Section 304A).