Many candidates with criminal records were elected as Member of Parliament on the tickets of various political parties. Pappu Yadav, Shahabuddin, Raj Narayan Buddhaulia, Ateek Ahmad, Afjal Ansari, Bheeshm Shanker Tiwari, Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh, Mitra Sen Yadav are few names to mention, who were the Members of the outgoing Parliament. These MPs are charged with were serious crimes.
According to a social organisation Election Watch, 39 candidates are history-sheeters in police record and are involved in such heinous crimes as murder and kidnapping. Sadhu Yadav, the brother-in-law of Railway Minister Lalu Yadav has been nominated candidate by Congress in Bihar. But the Supreme Court banned him from contesting the election. Shahabuddin and Suraj Bhan Singh both have a long list of crimes against them are also in the fray. The wife of mafia Rajesh Ranjan alias Papu Yadav?Ranjita Ranjan joined the Congress and is a candidate of the party. The Supreme Court has also banned film star Sanjay Dutt from contesting the election, who was the SP candidate from Lucknow parliamentary seat.
According to a social organisation Association for Democratic Reform (ADR), about 120 tainted leaders had been elected in the 14th parliamentary elections, i.e. 22 per cent of the total number of seats. It is also a bitter truth that almost all political parties are involved in fielding even the hardcore criminals on their party'sticket. In the election (November 2003) for Madhya Pradesh assembly, 36 MLAs with criminal background were elected. This is 16 per cent of the total number of seats. Similarly in the election for Maharashtra, 30 per cent MLAs are of criminal background. In this regard, Bihar tops the list. The election for State assembly held in 2005. Out of the total 243 MLAs elected, 102 MLAs are of criminal background. This is 42 per cent of the total number of seats. UP also does not lag behind in this regard. In the election for state assembly (2007) 160 MLAs are of criminal background, i.e. 40 per cent of the total number of seats.
In this election too the two strong political parties?SP and BSP?have fielded many candidates having criminal background. Around three dozen tainted leaders are in the election field of Uttar Pradesh. The ruling BSP tops is the list in fielding candidates with criminal background. SP too has given tickets to many tainted leaders. Candidates with criminal records include'sthe BSP Mukhtar Ansari, the prime accused in the murder of BJP'sMLA Krishnanand Rai. Owing to Allahabad High Court'sverdict, he filed his nomination papers from Gazipur jail. Dhananjay Singh, a notorious criminal charged with four murders, is also the BSP candidate from Jaunpur constituency. Arun Shanker Shukla alias ?Anna? another history-sheeter is also BSP candidate from Unnao. Kadir Rana from Muzaffarnagar and Rakesh Pandey from Ambedkar Nagar are also accused of murder cases. Rizwan Zahir from Saraswati had been charged under the gangster act. BSP has fielded Jagdish Singh Rana from Saharanpur, Vinay Shankar Tiwari (Gorakhpur) and Bhisma Shankar (Sant Kabir Nagar), Both are sons of former minister Harishankar Tiwari.
Samajwadi Party has released a list of 74 candidates so far. Some of them had been hardcore criminals. Other mafia don Atiq Ahmad, an accused of the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal, and currently in jail, is the candidate of Apana Dal from Pratapgarh. He is SP MP in the outgoing Lok Sabha. Sima Parihar, a bandit queen, who allegedly killed 70 persons, looted 30 houses and abducted around 200 persons is contesting from Mirzapur on the ticket of Indian Justice Party.
Here it is worth mentioning that the last Parliament had expelled 10 members for having been involved in the cash-for-questions scam. The MPs were caught on a TV camera during a sting operation while accepting money from a non-existing non-governmental organisation to ask questions in Parliament.
It is a matter of great concern that a large number of criminals are taking refuge in politics, which will only harm Indian democracy.