34% WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS IN BIHAR POLL, PARTIES MOCK AT SC ORDER
By Bikash C Paul
As Bihar, one of the most politically vibrant states in India, goes to poll…it’s time to take stock of the quality of the candidates. Not surprising enough, 34% of total candidates fielded in Bihar election have criminal records. It is hard to find any difference among parties while choosing history-sheeters. All seem to be same. Worse, parties have given thumbs down to a Supreme Court verdict that asked the parties to provide valid reasons as to why such candidates are chosen.
Out of 1463 candidates analyzed by ADR, 502 have criminal cases pending against them. This essentially means whopping 34% are in the fray with alleged criminal background. Out of this 27% are with serious criminal cases.
A party-wise break up shows 36 (64%) of 56 candidates analysed from RJD, 29 (63%) of 46 from BJP, 14 (58%) of 24 from Congress, 28 (54%) of 52 from LJP 20 (47%) of 43 from JD (U) are with criminal background. 49 have declared cases of crime against women, 4 are with rape and 32 with murder charges.
This is against a Supreme Court direction on February this year that specifically instructed political parties to provide reasons for such selections and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates. The apex court’s direction has practically been mocked by parties as all came out with frivolous ‘reasons’. The ‘reasons’ given for fielding candidates range from ‘politically motivated cases’, ‘good candidate, involves in social work’, ‘popular among locals’ etc.