Whatever else the outcome of the forthcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh, it would be interesting to see if the electorate votes in as many candidates with criminal charges against them as it did the last time around.
In Haryana, for instance, the National Election Watch has found that 28 of the 90 MLAs in the state have criminal charges against them, and around half of these have serious criminal charges pending -- 16 per cent of all Congress MLAs have serious criminal charges pending against them. Over two thirds of Haryana MLAs are crorepatis.
In the case of Maharashtra, around 46 per cent of MLAs have criminal charges and around a fifth (55 MLAs) have serious pending criminal charges against them -- the figure is 40 per cent for Shiv Sena MLAs and 17 per cent for BJP MLAs.
Arunachal Pradesh is relatively crime-free when it comes to MLAs, and just 5 per cent have any form of criminal charges against them.
Reportage: Sunil Jain in New Delhi