By Dr. Amrit Patel:
To ensure effectiveness of our democracy to achieve the objectives and goals enshrined in our constitution, each eligible voter must vote invariably and elect only the deserving candidate. Over a period of time election commissions of India have made a plethora of recommendations and of late the Supreme Court has come with heavy hand to prevent entry of candidates with criminal records, among others. Unfortunately none of the political parties has shown concern and commitment in this regard. As for example, the National Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms have been doing their best to bring to the attention of the voters by analysing the profile of contesting candidates in respect of their self-filed affidavits on crimes committed, assets acquired, among others. Their following analysis of 796 candidates for the slated Delhi Assembly election on 4th December, 2013 is shocking for voters.
– Out of the 796 candidates contesting election in Delhi Assembly election as many as 129 candidates have declared criminal cases against them in this year’s election as against 111 in 2008 Delhi Assembly election.
– Out of the 129 candidates who have declared criminal cases, 93 have declared serious criminal cases which include attempt to murder, robbery, dacoity and crime against women.
– Fourteen constituencies have at least three candidates from political parties with declared criminal cases.*Red Alert Constituencies are those which have three or more candidates with criminal cases standing up for elections. This analysis excludes independent candidates with criminal cases.
– Out of the 796 candidates 265 are crorepatis as against 180 in 2008…
– Out of 796 candidates 117 have not declared their PAN details.
Not only legislators with criminal records enter into State Legislative Assemblies and parliament but often become Ministers in the Government and continue unethical as also criminal activities. Even judicial system is unable to convict them for obvious reasons. Only voters can prevent the entry of criminals in the State Legislative Assemblies and parliament for which all eligible voters must vote en masse [100%] and reject such candidates making them to forfeit/lose deposits. It is indeed a matter of appreciation that more than 70% voters in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram have exercised their rights to vote which has been quite commendable. As Delhi being the country’s capital where both our houses of the parliament, the Government and the highest court of the land have been functioning to safe guard our hard earned political freedom, to economically emancipate country’s poor and uphold the rule of law as enshrined in our constitution, it is now for all eligible voters of Delhi Assembly to demonstrate their concern and vote en masse [100%] on this day. A time is now opportune to reject all 129 candidates with record of crimes, 265 crorepatis and 117 having not declared their PAN ensuring that they forfeit/lose their deposits. Only this can teach a better lesson to political parties not to field any candidate of these disqualifications in the ensuing Parliamentary election in 2014. It is surprising that despite so much hue and cry throughout the country about criminalization, amassing wealth and assets, not complying with mandated requirements of having PAN, among others, these political parties have shamelessly fielded such candidates. They must, therefore, be rejected by voters unanimously on 4th December. Only voters can punish such political parties by exercising their rights to vote and reject the candidates as also the political party outright.
Even now they have become so thick skinned that they do not want to make any appropriate amendments in the existing laws, enforce existing laws, unnecessarily wasting precious resources of the parliament without properly debating the issues, keeping several bills pending for years together. Poverty, hunger and lack of health care facilities have adversely reflected on human development. Every now and then rising prices of fuel and energy have been fuelling food inflation in particular much beyond human endurance. Youth in metro, urban and rural areas have been deprived of skill development training to find appropriate employment.
Unfortunately our constitution makers failed to anticipate the drastic conflict of interest between the Government and legislators. This is because the Government representing each ministry numbering about more than 90 is headed by the elected members of parliament and Rajya Sabha. Thus each minister is mutualizing the ministry for his/her selfish motives, making money, mobilizing votes, among others. India should have a system like in USA, where none of the 23 secretaries and 23 deputy secretaries [as we have ministers] is elected representative viz. from senators or House of Representatives. The role, functions and responsibilities of senators and House of Representatives is to pass Acts and that of Secretaries is to meticulously enforce the laws exhibiting clear and unambiguous separation of Parliament and Government. Same should be in all 29 States of the Indian Union.
Similarly, the USA under the presidency of the then Mr Eisenhower in late fifties amended the constitution restricting the terms of the president only two, each of four years. Our constitution and election system need comprehensive review, debate and discussion among all stake holders and amended immediately, not later than 2019.