By Latha Srinivasan: As Karnataka gears up for the Assembly elections on May 10, the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch (NEW) has released a report on the current chief ministers in the 28 states and two union territories. According to the report, chief ministers of three southern states top the list with the most number of criminal cases against them.
MOST CMs FACE CRIMINAL CASES
Telangana chief minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, or KCR, tops the list with 64 cases against him, out of which 37 are criminal cases. The second name on this list is Tamil Nadu CM and DMK chief MK Stalin with 47 cases against him, of which 20 are criminal cases. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy (YSR Congress) is in third spot with 38 cases, of which 35 are criminal cases.
Interestingly, 43 per cent of the chief ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves, which account for 13 of the 30 politicians. The criminal cases which some of them face include those related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and criminal intimidation.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) and Mizoram CM Zoramthanga (Mizo National Front) have three criminal cases each against them, while Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (CPI-M) and Bihar CM and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar face two criminal cases each.
The NEW report indicates that the chief ministers of Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkand, Sikkim and Punjab have one criminal case each against them.
The Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh chief ministers have also faced cases related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A). KCR, Arvind Kejriwal, Jagan Mohan Reddy and Hemant Soren all face charges related to punishment for criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506). Charges related to Attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) have been filed against KCR and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who has one case related to murder (IPC Section-302) as well.
CHIEF MINISTERS AND FINANCIAL ASSETS
Jagan Mohan Reddy who is among the top three when it comes to criminal cases is also the richest chief minister in India with Rs 510 crore of movable and immovable assets.
BJP’s Pema Khandu, the CM of Arunachal Pradesh, follows with assets to the tune of Rs 153 crore, while BJD’s Naveen Patnaik takes third spot with Rs 63 crores.
The other chief ministers lag far behind Jagan Mohan Reddy in terms of financial assets. Puducherry CM N Rangaswamy, from the ALL India NR Congress, has declared assets of Rs 38 crore, while Telangana CM KCR has assets of Rs 23 crore.
Karnataka CM Bommai (BJP) and TN’s M K Stalin have assets of Rs 8 crore, according to the report. Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar (BJP) rank at the 28th and 29th spot on the financial assets list with Rs 1 crore each.
West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee (AITC) has declared assets of just Rs 15 lakh and she ranks 30th on the financial assets list.