As many as 51 politicians have declared cases of crime against women, including cases of alleged rape and abduction, a report by The Hindustan Times said on Wednesday, August 31.
Among the 51, 48 are MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) and three are MPs (Member of Parliament), as reported by the Association for Democratic Reforms, a non-governmental organisation working for electoral reforms. According to the report, 334 candidates have been analysed to have declared cases related to crime against women. These candidates have been given electoral tickets by recognised parties.
The report also said that 122 independent candidates who had contested elections in the last five years also have similar cases against them. It further added that, among these, 40 candidates were given tickets to contest Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha elections and 294 candidates with cases related to crime against women have been given tickets to contest state assemblies elections.
The report had a party-wise segment where candidates with the highest number of declared cases of crime related to women were analysed. BJP ranked the highest with 14 MPs and MLAs with crimes like alleged rape and abduction. It was followed by the Shiv Sena (7) and All India Trinamool Congress (6). According to the report, state-wise Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs/MLAs that is 12, followed by West Bengal with 11 and Odisha with 6 MPs and MLAs who have declared cases of crime related to women against them.
The ADR analysed 4,852 out of 4,896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. It includes 774 out of 776 affidavits of MPS and 4,078 out of 4,120 MLAs from all states of India. Over the last five years, 48 candidates with declared cases of crime against women were given tickets by the BJP. The second highest number of candidates (36) who had declared cases related to crime against women were given tickets by the BSP, followed by 27 candidates from the Indian National Congress which had contested for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies elections.
In the last five years, Maharashtra has the highest number of candidates (65) followed by Bihar (62) and West Bengal (52) (including independents) who were given tickets by political parties even though they declared cases related to crime against women in their affidavits, the study added.
The ADR report suggests lawmakers with criminal cases against them should be debarred from contesting elections. It further says, “political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in the Parliament.”
The Logical Indian urges political parties to disclose on what basis these candidates given electoral tickets. The holistic well-being of the nation depends on leaders as they are the ones forming the laws for the betterment of the country. It is a disheartening reality that the majority of tainted lawmakers belong to the BJP, the current ruling party of the country. It is essential that the government fast-tracks the cases against these legislators as India should not be run by goons.