Stats of a recent survey conducted by the National Election Watch and the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) are certainly heart wrenching. According to their survey, 35 per cent of the BJP's candidates face criminal charges, of them 17 percent are serious charges. Meanwhile, 27 per cent of Congress' candidates face criminal charges, with 10 per cent facing serious charges.
Putting light on Assam the similar story runs here as well, where tainted candidates continues to throng the political sphere. Staring with Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency, Manash Borah, son of Minister Akon Bora, has numerous criminal cases pending against him. As of recently, noted RTI activist Dulal Bora has filed FIR against Manash Bora for possession of movable and immovable assets, which according to Dulal Bora are being made illegally and illegitimately.
It’s quite shocking to see the scenario, even after Rahul Gandhi recently notified that candidates having criminal background or having cases of criminal offences would not be entertained.
In another pending FIR against both father son duo of Akon Bora and Manash Bora, the Guwahati Lok Sabha candidate Manash Bora is alleged to have forged the signature of his minister–father Akon Bora to transfer an employee of the Social Welfare Department.
Moving on to Assam cultural capital, former Congress MP and now an Independent candidate for the 2014 polls, Moni Kumar Subba has been another controversial face. Subba is an accused in two cases for alleged rape, cheating and forgery with the concerned courts taking cognisance of the cases and framing charges against him. In the first case, Subba has been charged under Section 376 of IPC for alleged offence of rape and Additional Session Judge of Kamrup, Guwahati took cognisance of the case and framed charges on January 3, 2012.The case is currently pending in the Additional Sessions Judge No:4, Kamrup.
It’s worthwhile to mention that, Subba is the richest among all the Lok Sabha candidates from the North East with assets of over Rs 306 crore and liabilities at Rs 140 crore.
The Assam Gana Parishad(AGP), too has entrants in the list of tainted candidates, as it’s the only party to give candidature to former ULFA militant, Hari Prasad Dihingiya from Lakhimpur constituency has cases pending against him under the TADA Act. On the other, independent candidate Jiten Gogoi, who was also an independent member of the state legislative assembly for two consecutive terms since 2001, also faces charges pending against him in the Additional Sessions Court of Golaghat.
Speaking of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP),bigwig like the state president Sarbananda Sonowal, candidate from Lakhimpur, has a case of murder against him, that’s still pending.
After release of the figures The ADR’s Jagdeep Chhokar said the statistics were just the tip of the iceberg, with plenty more politicians expected to file similar affidavits.“I expect the (total) national figures will be about 30 per cent of candidates. I feel very queasy about these figures. Society deserves and wants higher standards,” Chhokar stated.
Infact, so deep are the tentacles of criminals in politics that few expect the ruling to significantly challenge the mafia might in Parliament and legislatures across the country. Looking at criminalization of politics, a report by Times of India Group gives another shocking account. According to it, the 2009 Lok Sabha race saw tainted faces in 450 of 545 seats!!
Though democracy implies 'rule of law' and the holding of free election to ascertain the will of the people but it has been much vitiated. The criminalisation of Indian politics and consequent cult of gun has created great threat to the life of the common people. India, world’s largest democracy, money and muscle power has certainly been the two major pillars for fighting elections.
Perhaps there’s nothing more dangerous, when the law breakers wear the hat of law makers. And when such people enter the Parliament, spraying of fat sprays on faces of political counterparts, throwing of microphones, tearing of important bills are a common sight.
Thus, if the criminals continue to flourish in this way, nothing will remain intact and democracy along with rule of law will soon perish.
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