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Thursday, November 21, 2019
 
 

Polity: Tainted politicians

Lawmakers or lawbreakers?

 

Politicians with shady background are a shame to India's democracy
SAYAN GHOSH & SRAY AGARWAL | Issue Dated: November 30, -0001, New Delhi
Tags : Association for Democratic Reforms | National Election Watch | Tainted politicians |
 

It’s not without reason that India continues to languish on the Corruption Perception Index. The country is currently placed at the 94th position out of 176 nations surveyed in 2012. In fact, the ranking has not budged over the years as there has been little or no progress towards making India’s corrupt bureaucracy more responsive and transparent. Public scams and politically criminal activities continue to make headlines despite the media furore and anguished outcries from various quarters. Unfortunately, the culture of malfeasance and graft has come to infiltrate almost every political outfit and government agencies in the country, which could seriously impair the moral fibre of the country.

The Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch have scrutinised the affidavits declared by MPs and lawmakers. Their study reveals that about 30 per cent, or 162 of the 4,807 legislators, have been convicted for criminal offences by various courts in the country. The Hindi heartland has the dubious distinction of harbouring most number of indicted politicians. The eastern state of Jharkhand leads the race with 74 per cent of its elected representatives convicted under various criminal offences followed by Bihar, where 58 per cent of its elected representatives face similar ignominy. Uttar Pradesh ranks third with 47 per cent of its legislators convicted for criminal offences. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg as the numbers reveal only convicted politicians and not those booked for criminal offences.

The regional parties, it seems, are more prone to cultivate errant politicians. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has 82 per cent of convicted MPs followed by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) with 64 per cent and the Samajwadi Party (SP) with 48 per cent. Among the national parties, the BJP has 31 per cent tainted MPs whereas the INC makes for 21 per cent.  Clearly, if India is to get rid of the scourge of corrupt and criminal politicians, all political parties need to weed out the black sheep in their ranks.   

 

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017