First Post Politics
New Delhi

Two leading NGOs working for governmental and elections reforms have written to Narendra Modi informing him about 21 percent of the total MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha are facing serious criminal charges and requested the Prime Minister designate to include only clean representatives in his Cabinet. According to a statement released by National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the two organisations in their letter also reminded Modi of his commitment of decriminalising politics and fast tracking cases against tainted politicians made during his election campaign. Representational Image. Reuters "Given Modi's commitment to critically examine MPs with self-declared criminal cases and fast tracking cases against them, which he reiterated during the recent Lok Sabha campaign saying the next Parliament would be cleaned by punishing the guilty, civil society organisations are expecting that the 15th Prime Minister will provide clean and exemplary governance," it said. The letter states that the 16th Lok Sabha has a sizable number of MPs (112 i.e. 21 percent) facing serious criminal charges. The NGOs have requested Modi that MPs with serious criminal cases should not be made Ministers or given chairs of responsibilities in the Parliament such as in Standing Committees, Financial committees and that any such MP should not be assigned a portfolio in the Cabinet that poses a conflict of interest with his/her business interests. "In BJP alone, 98 (35 percent) out of 281 MPs analysed by NEW & ADR have self-declared criminal cases, while 63 (22 percent) have self-declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, dacoity etc," the statement said. This is followed by eight out of 44 MPs (18 percent) of Congress, six out of 37 winners (16 per cent) from AIADMK, 15 of the total 18 MPs (83 percent) of Shiv Sena and seven out of 34 winners (21 percent) fielded by Trinamool Congress. As per ADR's analysis, the steady increase in the number of MPs facing criminal charges over the years is a matter of grave concern to the country. While in 2004, the number of Lok Sabha MPs facing criminal charges was 24 percent, in 2009 it had increased to 30 percent, and in the newly elected Lok Sabha 2014, the number has reached the mark of 34 percent, which is 186 MPs.

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