The Aam Aadmi Party might have swept the Delhi polls by winning 62 of the 70 seats on offer, but it hasn’t quite brought in the clean politics that it claims to uphold.
43 of the 70 newly elected Delhi MLAs have criminal charges against them, while 37 have serious criminal charges, including several attempts to murder and at least one attempt to rape, a study by the Association of Democratic Reforms has found. Thirteen of the 37 MLAs have cases of crimes against women filed against them.
52 of the elected legislators are crorepatis, with assets over Rs. 1 crore. AAP’s MLAs are richer than their BJP counterparts — average assets per MLA for 62 AAP legislators was Rs. 14.96 crores, while it was Rs. 9.10 crore for the eight BJP MLAs. AAP MLA Dharampal Lakra, who has won from Mundka, has assets worth over ₹292 crore and is the richest legislator in the new assembly.
These numbers belie the claims made by the Aam Aadmi Party of having cleaned up politics and transformed governance — with AAP winning 62 seats in the 70 seat house, it also accounts for the lion’s share of MLAs with criminal backgrounds. Worse, the numbers are getting worse with time — in 2015, when AAP had won 67 seats, only 24 of the 70 MLAs in Delhi had criminal charges, but this number has almost doubled to 43 in the current assembly. The net worth of these MLAs has ballooned too — while the average declared assets of MLAs in the 2015 assembly was 6.29 crore, it has more than doubled to Rs. 14.29 crore in 2020.