The Times Of India
B Shivakumar

CHENNAI: A study conducted by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, on sitting MLAs who faced corruption charges at the time of their election, has said Tamil Nadu accounted for seven of the 29 cases it found across the country. While six of them are from the AIADMK, one is from the DMK.

Among the MPs who faced similar charges at the time of filing nomination papers in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, DMK's T M Selvaganapathy is the lone MP from Tamil Nadu. The study on 4,835 MPs and MLAs, conducted based on the affidavits filed by them at the time of elections, was initiated after a court sentenced former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son for 10 years in jail in a teacher recruitment scam.

Various parties had fielded 98 candidates with corruption charges in the elections since 2008. Of them, only 36 people got elected. While four of them are Lok Sabha MPs, three are in the Rajya Sabha. Congress, with eight members, has the maximum number of MLAs with corruption cases. It is followed by the AIADMK. BJP, DMK, BJD and NCP have one MLA each.

Tamil Nadu MLAs on this list are B Valarmathi, O Panneerselvam, K A Sengottaiyan, J Jayalalithaa, K T Pachamal and Nainar Nagenthran of the AIADMK and I Periyasamy from the DMK. Valarmathi, however, was discharged from the disproportionate assets case in December last. The NGO has not included the names of MLAs and MPs against whom corruption cases were filed after they got elected. A Raja and Kanimozhi were booked after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in connection with the 2G scam.

As per the provisions of the Representation of People's Act, a person is barred from contesting elections only if he or she has been convicted and sentenced for two years in a criminal case. On an appeal, the sentence should not have been stayed too. Political commentator Gnani Sankaran said, "The state has a history of governments filing cases against their opponents after capturing power. I would say people should be blamed for electing candidates with corruption charges. Nobody else is responsible for it."

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