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Bihar Election 2020: League for Leadership or Contest of Criminals?

Every Assembly Election, we witness candidates with severe criminal charges keep proposing themselves for the hold of power in governance.

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Every Assembly Election, we witness candidates with severe criminal charges keep proposing themselves for the hold of power in governance. This dilution of politics with illegal participation have no going back since the day our country became a Republic.

The latest update in the politics is from Bihar where the ADR (Association of Democratic Reforms), which records the data for ‘criminal candidates’ being part of the election pre & post the polls, revealed that as many as 1,064 candidates are competing in comprises 31% of participation of criminal candidates into Phase 1 of the following Election.

While out of 328, 23% that is 244 have serious criminal charges against them. Which is made up of 3 candidates with rape cases, 26 for the crime against women and near to 83 have either murder charges or attempt to murder charges against them.

Bihar Election Oct 23: PM Modi, Nitish Kumar address 3 joint rallies on Day-1 - India Today
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (L) with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at a rally in Bihar’s Bhagalpur (Source: PTI)

Bihar, a place where the use of dominant power, guns & violence to dilute polls aren’t tales of much past, every political party or alliance have their own share in this moral crisis. 

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While Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) with significant participation, followed by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). The Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), Congress, Janata Dal-United (JDU) & Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) securing their respective spots into this political liability.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) having a history, has provided full backing to candidates with criminal charges into participation even in this election whether it is very infamous Anant Singh from Mokama assembly seats facing 38 charges of committing murder, kidnapping & attempt to murder, or Reet. Lal Yadav from Danapur assembly seats who recently been out of prison and accused of extortion, murder and other severe charges against him. 

While from Janata Dal-United, Manju Verma is contesting on Cheria-Bariyarpur seat of Begusarai District who was put behind bars in connection with Muzaffarpur Child care sex scandal involving sexual abuse of 34 girls being the social welfare minister back then.

Muzaffarpur sex scandal: Bihar minister Manju Verma resigns - The Economic Times
Muzaffarpur sex scandal: Bihar minister Manju Verma (Credit: Economictimes.com)

As the Election Commission has made it mandatory to publish the details of candidates facing criminal cases on their website and social media handles with proper reasons for considering them. Following the Supreme Court’s order in February, the EC had asked political parties the reasons for considering candidates with criminal charges with the explanation.

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Still, many parties drove it through by plotting wives, sons or relatives of those facing criminal charges.

Rajiv Kumar, the Bihar representative of ADR, said “We are still tabulating the affidavits of candidates who have filed for the first phase. We will be coming out with a report. But roughly 30 per cent of the candidates in the first phase have criminal records.”

While the additional chief electoral officer, Sanjay Singh being unsure if political parties had provided explanations to EC regarding tainted candidates. He added “The political parties were supposed to send their answers directly to the EC. Our office is not aware if they have set their replies.”

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