Gayatri Prajapati, the absconding Samajwadi Party leader accused of rape, was today arrested in Lucknow by the UP Police. During preliminary questioning, Prajapati, reportedly told the police that he had been on the run since February 27 and spent his time in West Bengal and some southern states. After being produced before the POCSO Court, Prajapati was sent to 14-day judicial remand.
Everybody is lauding the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for this arrest, however, to our utter surprise, the saffron party has elected a record number of MLAs with criminal charges. The BJP, which won the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on the slogan of ‘Na goondaraj, na bhrashtachar’ (No hooliganism, No corruption!) has 114 MLAs out of 312, who have pending criminal cases against them. That is an astounding 37 per cent!
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a Delhi-based NGO which works in the area of electoral and political reforms has unraveled some shocking facts:
Out of the 402 MLAs analysed, 143 (approximately 36 per cent) MLAs face criminal charges
107 (around 26 per cent) MLAs have been involved in serious crimes, including cases related to murder, attempt to murder and extortion etc.
Apart from BJP, 14 (30 per cent) out of 46 MLAs from SP have criminal cases against them. In BSP, it is 26 per cent i.e., 5 out of 19 MLAs. Congress has one MLA with a criminal charge.
Uttar Pradesh has the highest crime rate in the country. According to an assessment conducted last year, UP accounts for almost 13 per cent of all serious criminal incidents nationwide. It also had the dubious distinction of being the state with the maximum incidences of crimes against women. According to the ADR report, only one MLA Ashok Kumar Rana has a case related to crime against women. He belongs to the BJP and won from Dhampur constituency.
Even in Uttarakhand, the BJP tops the list of MLAs with serious criminal charges! The state had 14 per cent candidates who have criminal charges against them. Out of the 637 candidates in the fray, 91 are facing criminal charges. Every 19 of the 70 candidates fielded by the BJP have criminal cases against them. This figure stands at a staggering 27 per cent.
Likewise, BJP is also a leader, when it comes to ‘crorepati’ MLAs. Out of the 402 newly elected MLAs analysed, 322 (80 per cent) are crorepatis. Notably, 246(79 per cent) out of 312 MLAs from BJP, 39 (85 per cent) out of 46 MLAs from SP, 18 (95 per cent) out of 19 MLAs from BSP, 5 (71 per cent) out of 7 MLAs from INC, and 3 (100 per cent) out of 3 Independent MLAs have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.
Out of the top 10 MLAs with highest assets, 5 are from BJP, 3 are from BSP, one from SP and RLD respectively. The list of multi-millionaires elected members is headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ajay Pratap Singh who has been elected from Colonelganj constituency in Gonda. Singh, who in his poll affidavit declares himself as a farmer, possesses properties worth over Rs 49 crore. That includes 60 kg of gold, seven vehicles and six guns, three each in his name and his wife’s. Now, that’s a rich farmer!