Criminalisation of Indian politics has become a matter of survival for the politicians. Spotless spick-and-span government is a stretched fantasy in India and Indian states. Despite their rhetoric of promoting people with a clean track record, parties field candidates facing criminal cases. Here it is imperative to visualise the cause compelling these parties to field tainted candidates in elections. The larger changes happened in our society and economy since independence. This encouraged criminals being employed by politicians to becoming full-time politicians themselves. A study on the subject has exposed that with the generation of political parties and expansion of the body politic, contesting elections has become a costly affair. The criminal candidates with ill-gotten wealth make themselves available to political parties as self-financing candidates with big donations to the party coffers. All political parties harp and flourish on donations without caring the sources thereof. The Representation of People Act, 1951, bars political parties from accepting foreign funds. In 2010, The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act (FCRA) to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution was brought in by UPA government. In 2016, the BJP government amended the FCRA to make it easier for parties to accept foreign funds. Now, it has amended it further to do away with the scope for scrutiny of a political parties funding. This way BJP has stepped many times to behold the information on sources of political donations and has kicked its vociferous claim of making donations a transparent transaction. 69 per cent of income of political parties comes from unknown sources. Overall, there has been a marked rise in corporate donations since the BJP assumed power at the Centre in 2014. A total donation to political parties during 2013-14 was Rs 85.37 crore, during 2014-15: Rs 177.40 crore, during 2015-16: Rs 49.50 crore and during 2016-17: Rs 325.27 crore. Corporate donations via electoral trusts to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) zoomed in 2016-17 with the ruling party at the Centre getting the lion’s share of Rs 290.22 crore out of the total corporate donations of Rs 325.27 crore made to ten political parties.
The bio-data of MPs/MLAs covering criminal charges now effortlessly available even to ordinary citizen but less in public domain owing to the reason that it is not percolated in public domain from any medium or government platter. The political parties dare not to expose their MPs/MLAs facing serious criminal cases of murder, rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping etc. Under such crises it becomes imperative to caution the citizens about the petition of the political parities of their exorbitant disinformation/propaganda of uncluttered structure. The teaser pages of Lok Sabha/state elections enlighten that the share of MPs and MLAs with criminal backgrounds has been growing steadily in India. The mission of editing data of tainted politicians is carried forward by the ‘Association for Democratic Reforms’ (ADR) a non-partisan, non-governmental conglomeration of over 1200 organizations across the country working in the area of electoral and political reforms that came into existence in 1999. The efforts of ADR bore fruit in 2003, when Supreme Court made it mandatory for all the candidates contesting elections to disclose their criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission of India. Now the exclusive and elaborate reporting’s of ADR is an authority to counter the propaganda of political parties especially BJP of their false claims of a neat and clean party, and authenticating “Is hamam men sab nange hain”.
When we visit the data of 2004 elections (14th Lok Sabha), of the 543 elected MPs, there were 128 (23.57 per cent) with 429 criminal cases including 58 (10.68 per cent) with 296 cases of serious nature. 15th Lok Sabha (2009 elections) loaded with 162 (29.83 per cent) MPs with 522 criminal cases including 76 (14 per cent) have 275 cases of serious nature against them. In 15th Lok Sabha the BJP was at the top with 44 of 116 (38%) MPs facing criminal cases and 44 of 206 (21%) Congress MPs were facing criminal cases. The 16th Lok Sabha (2014 elections) has the highest number of MPs, every third MP, with criminal cases against them. Of the 541 MPs, 186 (34.38 per cent) are facing criminal charges. Of the 186 new members, 112 (21 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases, including those related to murder, attempt to murder, causing communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc. Like 15th Lok Sabha in 16th Lok Sabha too, BJP is leading the tally with as many as 98 winning candidates (35 per cent) out of total 282 are facing criminal cases. 8 (18 per cent) out of total 44 candidates of Congress, 6 (16 per cent) out of 37 of AIADMK, 7 (21 per cent) out of 34 of Trinamool Congress’, are facing criminal charges. A cursory look of states reveals that almost every state has been returning MPs in every Lok Sabha facing criminal charges. in 2016 elections the data goes as; Uttar Pradesh sent 28 of 80 MPs, Maharashtra 31 of 48, Bihar 20 of 40, Andhra Pradesh 20 of 25, Gujrat 9 of 26, Tamil Nadu 7 of 39, Karnataka 9 of 28, Kerala 9 of 20, Jharkhand 4 of 14, West Bengal 8 of 42, Madhya Pradesh sent 7 of 29 MPs who are tainted. The claims of BJP a neat and clean party do not stand the reality test as number of tainted MPs is ever increasing. There were 44 out of 116 MPs in 15th Lok Sabha that increased to 98 out of total 282 facing criminal cases in 16th Lok Sabha. Its alliance partner Shiv Sena have 15 (83 per cent) of the 18 winners facing criminal cases. BJP has highest no. of MPs, MLAs with cases of crime against women. There are 55 newly elected members of Parliament (MPs) in the Rajya Sabha, while 13 have declared criminal cases and seven have declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to attempt to murder, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, theft, against themselves. Here too BJP top the list with three MPs in Rajya Sabha are tainted.
Some of the reasons that favor the tainted candidates to win elections can be summed up as; the relative lack of information among the electorate is important: because many voters simply do not know who has been convicted of serious offences. The Election Commission of India, towards more reforms in electoral system, has to go for a fool proof strategy to aware the voters about the bio-data of all contesting candidates that it receives as affidavits from them. This will enable the voter to make an informed choice. The voters fall to the booby trap as tainted candidates present themselves as ‘Robin Hood’. It takes more than information for voters to recalibrate their priorities. As long as voters give greater weight to party and caste, rather than the probity of candidates, outcomes of this nature will occur.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method