Guwahati: Thirty-four of the 126 newly-elected Assam MLAs have criminal cases against them, with the highest 52 cases against Akhil Gogoi, the lone Independent candidate to win the election, according to the Association For Democratic Reforms.
In the last legislative Assembly (2016-2021) 14 MLAs had criminal cases against them.
Of the 126 winning candidates analysed by the Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR), 34 have declared criminal cases, comprising 27 per cent of the total winners, with 28 of them having serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, crimes against women among other offences.
The ruling NDA has 11 out of the 75 winning candidates with criminal cases, with the BJP having the highest of nine while its partners the AGP and UPPL have one each, the ADR report said.
The opposition Congress has 12 of its 29 winners and its partner the AIUDF has 10 of the 16 newly elected MLAs with criminal records.
Seven of the BJP’s 60 winning candidates have “serious criminal cases” while its partners have one each while the Congress has 10 and its ally the AIUDF has eight newly elected members in this category along with the independent candidate, it said.
The criteria of ‘serious criminal cases’ refers to offence for which maximum punishment is of five years or more, If an offence is non-bailable, If it is an electoral offence, offence related to loss to exchequer those related to assault, murder, kidnap, rape related, those offences that are mentioned in Representation of the People Act 8, under Prevention of Corruption Act and crimes against women.
The new assembly will have one member with declared cases related to murder, five members with cases of attempt to murder and two with cases related to crimes against women.
Akhil Gogoi, the president of Raijor Dal, who won as an Independent candidate from Sibsagar constituency, is the first candidate in the state to win an election from jail, has the highest of 52 cases against him.
These include three charges related to attempt to murder and two charges related to waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India, among others, the ADR report said.
Former Congress minister and Karimganj (South) MLA Siddeque Ahmed has seven cases and his party colleague Rekibuddin Ahmed from Chaygaon has five while another member Abul Kalam Rasheed Alam from Goalpara (East) has three cases pending against him, it said.
AIUDF’s Aminul Islam from Dhing and Ashraful Hussain from Chenga have four cases each against them while first time BJP MLA Jitu Goswami from Barhampur and Diganta Kalita from Kamalpur have three cases each pending against them
UPPL’s Gobinda Chandra Basumatari from Udalguri (ST), Congress’s Rupjyoti Kurmi of Mariani, AIUDF’s Rafiqul Islam from Jania and Nizanur Rahman from Gauripur and BJP’s Rama Kanta Dewri from Marigaon and Manab Deka from Lakhimpur have two cases each.
Congress MLAs Debabrata Saikia from Nazira, Bharat Chandra Narah from Naoboicha, Wazed Ali Choudhury from South Salmara, Abdus Sobhan Ali Sarkar from Golakgunj, Abdur Rashid Mandal from Goalpara (West), Sherman Ali Ahmed from Baghbar, Aftabuddin Mollah from Jaleswar and Jakir Hussain Sikdar have one case each against them.
AIUDF’s Phanidhar Talukdar from Bajali, Sirajuddin Ajmal from Jamunamukh, Nijamuddin Choudhury from Algapur, Abdul Aziz from Badarpur, Karimuddin Barbhuiya from Sonai and Mazibur Rahman from Dalgaon also have one case each against them.
BJP’s Padma Hazarika from Sootea, Atul Bora from Dispur.
Darsang Ronghang from Howraghat (ST), Parmananda Rajbongshi from Sipajhar, Dipayan Chakraborty from Silchar and AGP minister in the outgoing government Atul Bora from Bokakhat also have one case each pending against them.
BJP’s Parmananda Rajbongshi, former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, and Manab Deka have cases related to bigamy and cruelty against women respectively, the ADR report said.