The BJP has declared criminal cases against 25 of its candidates in Uttar Pradesh out of the 107 candidates named in its first list of candidates declared last week, reported News18. These 25 candidates include Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. The party has justified giving tickets to these candidates saying there were implicated in cases due to “political rivalry”.
Declaring that Maurya, who is contesting from Sirathu in Kaushambi district, faces four criminal cases, the BJP – in its declaration on the reason for selections of the candidate – said that the deputy CM is “extremely popular” not only in the constituency but across the state, adding that his candidature was forwarded by the district unit of the party on the basis of his “merit, his social work and work in the field of upliftment of the people”.
“He (Maurya) has been implicated in cases due to political rivalry, hence he has been preferred over the other candidates,” the BJP declaration says regarding Keshav Prasad Maurya.
The BJP has also declared that its candidate from Thana Bhawan and minister Suresh Rana has three cases against him. “He is the sugarcane development minister in the present government and is extremely popular due to his outstanding work for release of cane dues to farmers,” the BJP has said.
The party also justified with the reason of “political rivalry” for giving ticket to Babu Lal, the candidate from Fatehpur Siri, who has as many as seven cases against him.
This comes as the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission to ensure that political parties publish details regarding criminal cases of candidates along with the reason for their selection on their websites.
Besides seeking disclosure of criminal history of candidates on websites of political parties, the PIL – filed by lawyer advocate Ashwini Upadhyay – has also sought a direction to the poll panel to ensure that every politician publishes the details in electronic, print, and social media, and to file a contempt case against the president of the party which violates such directions.
The plea said the petition was filed after the Samajwadi Party, which is a registered and recognised political party, fielded alleged gangster Nahid Hasan from Kairana assembly in Uttar Pradesh but neither published his criminal records in electronic, print, or social media nor the reason of his selection within 48 hours in the spirit of the direction passed earlier by the Supreme Court.
“Nahid Hasan is in custody under the Gangster Act imposed on him around 11 months ago and he is the first candidate to file nomination in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections. On February 13, 2021, the Shamli Police imposed the Gangster Act on Nahid Hasan, the two-time MLA from Kairana. “He has multiple criminal cases and is the mastermind behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are many criminal cases including fraud and extortion and was declared a fugitive by Special MLA-MP Court,” the plea alleged.