India may be a country where every fifth person languished below the poverty line, but that does not seem to be the case when it comes to the parliamentarians that are elected to the helm of Indian democracy. According to the findings of a study by the National Election Watch (NEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), all the newly elected Lok Sabha members from 15 states and union territories are crorepatis.
The study, that analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 539 out of 542 winners in the Lok Sabha elections, revealed that nearly 90 percent, a total of 475 representatives, are crorepatis.
In addition, nine states — Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Goa, Mizoram and Nagaland and the union territories of Delhi, Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Puducherry and Daman & Diu ended up electing only crorepati MPs.
The condition is not very different in any of the remaining regions as well. The study revealed that with the exception of Odisha (67 percent), Kerala (70 percent) Assam (71 percent) and Bengal ( 74 percent ), all the remaining states had sent 80 percent or more crorepatis to represent them in the lower house of parliament.
Rich candidates have a significant edge over others in elections:
As per the study, the probability of winning the elections increase significantly as the candidate gets richer. The data showed that while the chance of winning for a crorepati candidate in the Lok Sabha 2019 was 21 percent, the same for a candidate with assets less than Rs 1 crore was only 1 percent.
The winning probability of a candidate with assets of over Rs 5 crore is over 30 percent while that of a candidate with assets below Rs 10 lakh falls to a mere 0.3 percent.