Criminalisation of Politics: One in every six candidates has listed criminal cases against him and 70% of the candidates with criminal record have been accused of heinous crimes like rape and murder among others.
Criminalization of Politics: In a clear sign of sway of criminals into the country’s politics, one in every six candidates contesting from 91 seats going to poll in the first phase has declared criminal cases pending against him or her. What is more worrying that 70% of these 213 candidates with criminal records have serious offences like rape, murder, attempt to murder, bribery and corruption listed against them, showed a survey conducted by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
An analysis of the affidavits filed by all 1266 candidates revealed that 17% or 213 of them have criminal cases listed against them, and 146 or 70% of these 213 candidates have serious offences pending against them including murder.
Some of these 146 candidates that have been accused of involvement in serious crimes have listed heinous crimes pending against them such as murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping with the intent to commit murder among others. Ten candidates have been involved in the cases related to murder (IPC 302) and 25 candidates have the cases of attempt to murder (IPC 307) listed against them.
1. Supreme Court’s effort to cleanse politics of criminals
Supreme Court has often cracked whip against entry of criminals into the country’s politics, pushing them out of electoral politics and forcing them to declare the criminal cases listed against them to general public. The steps taken by the apex court involve its direction to high courts and trial courts to conduct a time bound hearing of crime cases involving politicians.
In a landmark judgement delivered in 2013, the Supreme Court also ruled that MPs, MLAs will be disqualified from the date of their conviction in criminal cases attracting imprisonment of two years or more. The judgement was aimed at cleansing the Indian politics as it resulted in disqualification of big politicians like J Jaylalitha, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rasheed Masood. However, an analysis of the affidavits filed by candidates for the first phase of Lok Sabha Election reveals that it will be a long drawn battle.
2. Candidates involved in cases of crimes against women
Total 16 candidates have declared that offences related to crimes against women are pending against them. These crimes include rape (IPC Section 376), outraging the modesty of a women or subjecting women to cruelty.
And four candidates have been facing cases related to kidnapping and abduction with the intention to murder or abduction of women with the intent of a forced marriage.
There are at least a dozen candidates fighting election in the first phase that have been accused of hate speech.