Bihar Polls: One-third of candidates in the first phase with criminal recordtext_fields
The recent report by Association of Democratic Reform (ADR) and Bihar Election Watch (BEW) says that 31 per cent of running candidates in Phase 1 of Bihar assembly election are with criminal cases, and 23 per cent of total candidates have serious criminal cases against themselves.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have 73 per cent of their candidates with records followed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 72 per cent and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) with 59 per cent. They identify 29 candidates of the total to have cases related to crime against women, including 3 occupied with rape cases.
The study identifies 61 out of a total of 71 constituents of Phase 1 as Red Alert Constituencies, where 3 or more contesting candidates have criminal cases on their record.
Election Commission of India issued a letter in compliance with Supreme Court directions in last March, giving direction to political parties on the selection of candidates with criminal records. Explicit instruction was issued to all political parties to publicly exhibit pending criminal cases of their candidates and asked them to clarify the grounds on which tickets were given to persons with criminal records over others.
ADR report deducted that SC order had no impact over the selection of candidates by political parties. In Phase 1 all major parties have given their tickets to 31 per cent to 70 per cent to persons with criminal records with no sound and cogent reasons. ADR evaluated this ill tendency as a sign of lack of interest of political parties in reforming the electoral system and it will lead Indian democracy to suffer in the hands of 'lawbreakers' turned 'lawmakers'.
ADR recommended permanent disqualification of candidates convicted with heinous crimes like murder and rape besides bringing political parties under the Right to Information Act. On fielding, tainted candidates, tax redemption given to political parties need to be cancelled and political parties required to be de-registered and de-recognized on the grounds of supporting a tainted candidate, Report proposed.