These elections were not just a resounding victory for the BJP but a victory for the rich as well. The median wealth of winners is around 4 crore, a 40% increase from 2014, and 16-times higher than the median wealth of contesting candidates, according to data provided by the Association for Democratic Reforms, and treated by Trivedi Centre for Political Data of Ashoka University.

The BJP won the most seats but its winners’ median wealth ( 3.9 crore) was lower than the Congress winners ( 5.1 crore), mirroring the difference between the two parties candidates’ wealth. Specifically, the wealthiest winner was Nakul Nath, representing Congress in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh with a self-declared net worth of 659 crore.


At the constituency level, contests seemed to boil down to the wealthiest candidates. While the median wealth for the candidate finishing second ( 4.8 crore) actually exceeds the winners, it far surpasses the wealth of the third-placed candidate ( 1 crore).


In tandem with money, crime is growing in prominence. Of these elections’ winners, 28% face serious criminal charges compared to 21% in 2014. And here again, the top two contestants in a constituency seem to face more criminal cases compared to the third-placed contestant.

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