An opinion poll conducted by NGOs MDRA and Avaaz has revealed that 95 per cent Indians want a Supreme Court ruling that politicians with criminal convictions go through fast track courts… Among the five poll bound States Delhi has the maximum percentage (43 per cent) of MLAs with declared criminal cases against them followed by Madhya Pradesh (25 per cent)…
Commenting on a recent opinion poll results which revealed that 95 per cent Indians want a Supreme Court ruling that politicians with criminal convictions go through fast track courts, Avaaz campaign director Meredith Alexander said, “The nation has spoken: voters want to speed up the clean up of politics. Now, they are looking to the judges to deliver. An overwhelming 95 per cent of people want fast track courts for criminal netas. The Supreme Court has been at the forefront of crucial reform. Today, people across the country are calling on it to again show its mettle as the defender of democracy.”
The poll was released as the Supreme Court is set to hear a petition asking it to introduce fast track courts for all charged politicians. The poll demonstrated a massive mandate for criminal politicians to be kicked out of power. With a representative sample of more than 8,000 people across India, the poll also showed:
- 97.8 per cent want politicians with criminal convictions to stand down immediately.
- 96.6 per cent think that people convicted of serious crimes should not be allowed to govern and rule the country.
- 95.1 per cent think that is a stain on Indian democracy that so many MPs face criminal charges.
- 87.7 per cent think India could more easily solve its problems if there were fewer criminals in power.
“The country has seen what happens without fast track courts the conviction of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad took 17 years and Rasheed Masood 24 years. Fast track justice would ensure a ruling on sitting representatives is established quickly. Fast track courts have already been introduced this year for some rape cases, following the Verma commission’s recommendations,” a media release stated.
“The nation has spoken: voters want to speed up the clean up of politics. Now, they are looking to the judges to deliver. An overwhelming 95 per cent of people want fast track courts for criminal netas. The Supreme Court has been at the forefront of crucial reform. Today, people across the country are calling on it to again show its mettle as the defender of democracy.” Avaaz campaign director Meredith Alexander
13 pc of candidates in upcoming polls have criminal cases
Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram will go to polls with 879 candidates with pending criminal cases. The data provided by the Association for Democratic Reforms states that 13 per cent of the contesting candidates (879 out of 6,870 candidates) from five States had self declared pending criminal cases as per their affidavits during the 2008 assembly elections. In the 2008 assembly elections 394 (6 per cent) candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves. 21 per cent of MLAs (128 out of 607 MLAs) from these five States have self declared pending criminal cases. 47 MLAs had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Among the five States Delhi has maximum per centage (43 per cent) of MLAs with declared criminal cases against them followed by Madhya Pradesh (25 per cent) among the five States. Madhya Pradesh has highest per centage (11 per cent) of MLAs with serious criminal cases followed by Delhi and Chhattisgarh with 9 per cent. Mizoram, with 7 per cent has the lowest per centage of MLAs with criminal cases among the five States.
Among major parties the Indian National Congress had fielded 30 per cent tainted candidates in Delhi, 31 per cent in Madhya Pradesh during 2008 Assembly elections.
About 35 per cent candidates of the BJP had criminal cases in Delhi while 22 per cent tainted candidates were given tickets in the 2008 Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. In Delhi, 38 per cent of MLAs from INC and 46 per cent of MLAs from BJP have criminal cases against them. In Madhya Pradesh 34 per cent of INC MLAs and 20 per cent of MLAs of BJP have self declared criminal cases. 264 (43 per cent) MLAs out of the 607 analysed from the five States are crorepatis while 837 (12 per cent) candidates out of 6870 were crorepatis.
Delhi has the highest percentage (69 pc) of crorepati MLAs followed by Rajasthan with 46 per cent. Madhya Pradesh has 38 per cent. Out of 7,520 candidates contested during 2008 assembly elections in five States, only 8 per cent (564) were women candidates. Lowest per centage of women candidates were fielded in Mizoram (4 per cent), while Delhi and Chhattisgarh States recorded 9 per cent women candidates, which was the highest among the five States.
Out of 630 MLAs from the five State assemblies only 67 (11 per cent) are women. Rajasthan has the highest per centage of women MLAs (14 per cent), while Mizoram assembly has no women representation. Delhi has only 4 per cent women MLAs.