The Times of India

Nagpur: With election fever in the air, a survey has revealed that many sitting and former MLAs of Vidarbha are facing criminal charges, including serious crimes like cheating and criminal conspiracy. A survey by election watchdog - Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) - based on the affidavits filed during the nomination process, indicated that over 50% of Maharashtra MLAs have criminal records, including a majority from Vidarbha.

Even those known for their clean image have cases against them, though the charges are related to petty offences, like being a member of unlawful assembly, agitations, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, and rioting.

However, a few face serious criminal charges like wrongful restraint, criminal breach of trust, criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant or agent, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, forgery of valuable security or will, forgery for purpose of cheating, using as genuine a forged document or electronic record, criminal intimidation, attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment among others. Interestingly, none of the candidates have so far been convicted in any case, as per their affidavits.

Those facing serious criminal charges included MLAs Krishna Khopde and Vikas Kumbhare of the BJP, Congress' Sunil Kedar and MNS' Prashant Pawar. Even former minister Satish Chaturvedi, who is contesting from Nagpur South constituency after losing to Khopde, faces a barrage of serious charges, including criminal breach of trust, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt.

Among those facing mild charges include state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, his rival from Congress Praful Gudadhe from South West constituency, sitting BJP MLAs Chandrashekhar Bawankule from Kamptee, Sudhakar Deshmukh from West, Ashish Jaiswal from Ramtek, Sudhir Parwe from Umred, and former ministers Nitin Raut and Anees Ahmed of the Congress.

Even other popular candidates, like Abhijeet Wanjari contesting on Congress ticket from East constituency, Kiran Pandav contesting on Shiv Sena ticket from South, and Shekhar Sawarbandhe who is contesting as an independent from South after being denied a ticket by Sena, are facing minor charges.

The only ones not facing charges are sitting Congress MLA from South Dinanath Padole, who is now contesting on an NCP ticket, and city Congress chief Vikas Thakre, who is contesting from West against Deshmukh.

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