More rich you are more the chance of winning an election.
Many of us were aware of this but when we see the actual statistics it is startling. National Election Watch a nationwide campaign comprising of more than 1200 NGO and other citizen led organizations working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in India, has published a detail analysis of the Indian Parliament elections 2009. P Sainath, the renowned "journalist for the voiceless ' has written in The Hindu about this giving his insights.
Let me bring you some excerpts from the report and Sainath's comments.
There were 3,437 candidates in the polls with assets of less than Rs.10 Lakhs[1 million], says the report. Of these, just 15 (0.44 per cent) made it past the post.
But your chances soar with your assets. Of the 1,785 candidates in the Rs. 10 Lakh-Rs. 50 Lakh group, 116 (6 per cent) won. This win-ratio goes up to 19 per cent of candidates for the Rs. 50Lakh-Rs. 500 Lakh segment. And of 322 candidates in the Rs. 500Lakh-plus or platinum tier, 106 (33 per cent) romped home
Let us see this again
Candidate's Asset ------Chance of winning
Less than Rs 10 Lakhs ---------0.44 percent
Rs 10 Lakhs to 50 Lakhs--- --- 6 percent
Rs 50 Lakhs to 500 Lakhs ----19 percent
Above Rs 500 Lakhs -------33 percent
So if you are super rich you have one in 3 chance of getting into the Lok Sabha.
In other words if you are worth over Rs. 50 million, you are 75 times more likely to win an election to the Lok Sabha than if you are worth under Rs. 1 million.
If you are in the super-rich category there is high chance that you will get a cabinet post also.
23 of 64 Cabinet Ministers [more than 1 in 3]whose asset worth is in the public domain fall into this Rs. 500 Lakh-plus category. In the entire Cabinet, only one falls into the less-than-Rs.10 Lakh group.[ That is understandable.There were very few to choose from the 'poor' category]
Many MPs were reelected with handsome margins. You might have thought that they were re-elected because of their good work done for the people in their constituencies.We are not very sure how much they had done to uplift their voters,but we are sure how much they have done to help their bank balance.See this statistic.
Average individual increase in assets of a re-contesting MP is 287 percent[2.75 Crore].
So the Indian Parliament is a rich man's club. Entry is for the rich and when you enter, there is a high chance that you can increase your assets by several folds by the end of your 5 year term.This will also ensure your re-election. A win-win situation, right?
Sainath says the irony is all this is happening in India the
"One that still has 836 million human beings who “get by” on less than Rs. 20 a day. Which ranks 66th amongst 88 nations on the Global Hunger Index (just one notch above Zimbabwe). Which has plummeted to rank 132 in the United Nations Human Development Index (one slot below Bhutan) as our billionaire count has risen. That wallows below Bolivia, Botswana, the Republic of the Congo and the Occupied Territories of Palestine in the HDI rankings. And never mind being worth billions — 60 per cent of adult rural Indians simply do not have bank accounts".
For whom these rich Parliamentarians will legislate for? For themselves or for the common man?
Note: These statistics are based the Candidate's declared assets. Now if you include black money the assets may increase by 5 to 50 times.