It is in the grammar. No one is a criminal except that thousands of esteemed Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies have criminal cases against them.
(The Times of India LINK) – About 30% of Lok Sabha members and 17% of Rajya Sabha members have criminal cases pending against them, said a report which noted that the probability of winning an election by a candidate with criminal record is higher than that of one with a clean background.
The Association For Democratic Reforms and New Election Watch have for the last ten years compiled Comprehensive Reports on Elections, Crime and Money.
Here are some sobering statistics….
Summary and Highlights:
- Total Number of Candidates Analyzed: A total of 62847 Candidates who have contested either Parliamentary or State Assembly Elections since 2004have been analyzed by ADR and NEW.
- Total Number of MPs/MLAs Analyzed: A total of 8790 MPs/MLAs who have either held seats since 2004 either in the Parliament or in State Assemblies have been analyzed by ADR and NEW.
- Candidates with Criminal Cases: A total of 11063 out of these 62847 (18%) Candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
- Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 5253 (8%) out of the 11063 Candidates analyzed have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
- Sitting Lok Sabha MPs with Criminal Cases: 162 (30%) out of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves. 76 or 14% of the current Lok Sabha MPs have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
- Sitting Rajya Sabha MPs with Criminal Cases: 40 out of 232 (17%) sitting MPs from Rajya Sabha have declared criminal cases against themselves. 16 (7%) of the current Rajya Sabha MPs have declared serious criminal cases.
- Sitting MLAs who have declared Criminal Cases: 1258 (31%) out of the 4032 sitting MLAs from all state assemblies have declared criminal cases against themselves. 15% of the current MLAs from all state assemblies have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
- MPs/MLAs with Criminal Cases: Out of the 8790 MPs/MLAs analyzed since 2004, 2575 or 29% have declared criminal cases against themselves and 1187 or 14% have serious criminal charges. INC has 8% and BJP has 13% MPs/MLAs with serious criminal charges.
- Candidates with Criminal Cases get party tickets for the second time: : Analysis of the criminal records of 4181 repeat candidates shows that 1072 of them had a criminal case the first time they contested an election and 788 had cases the second time also. This means political parties gave tickets to 74% of candidates with criminal records the second time also despite having information on their criminal background from previous elections. However the total number of candidates with criminal cases still increased the second time as there were 507 other candidates (out of 4181) who showed no criminal cases in the first election but declared cases in the second round of elections. Therefore the total percent of candidates with criminal records given tickets by political parties rose from 26% to 31%.
- Candidates with Serious Criminal cases get party tickets for the second time: If we look at serious criminal cases a similar picture emerges. Of 540 candidates with serious charges, 353 or 65% were given tickets for the second time also. In addition to them there were 289 other candidates with no criminal cases in the first election, but who had declared cases in the second round of elections. This also shows that the total percent of candidates with serious criminal records given tickets by political parties rose from 12% to 15%.
- Pendency of Criminal Cases against Re contesting Candidates: Cases against 788 contesting candidates have been pending since their declarations in the previous election. This means that these candidates with pending criminal cases continue to contest elections, while charges against them remaining pending in Courts without any resolution and some of them even continue to sit as people’ representatives.
I wonder what Mahatma Gandhji would think of this?
One dreads to think what candidates the political parties are going to field in the coming Indian General Elections in 2014.