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Vote Dhyaan Se: 3rd Phase Bihar Elections Have 27% Candidates With Criminal Cases

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By Abhishek Jha:

About one-third of the contesting candidates in the third phase of Bihar elections scheduled for October 28 have criminal cases against themselves according to their own declared affidavits that Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has analysed in its report. Out of a total of 808 candidates contesting in the 50 constituencies, 215 (27%) have declared criminal cases against themselves and 162 out of those are ‘serious’ criminal cases. The ADR report categorises ‘serious’ criminal cases as those which relate to offenses punishable with imprisonment of 5 or more years, or non-bailable offenses, electoral offenses, offenses related to loss of exchequer, offenses related or murder, kidnapping, and rape, those mentioned in Representation of the People Act (Section 8), Prevention or Corruption Act, and those related to crimes against women. 

RJD (68%), BJP (62%), and JDU (56%) have the most percentage of candidates with criminal charges against them. 16 of the 17 candidates of RJD with criminal cases have one or more of the serious charges against them. BSP (19%), CPI (37%), and SP (39%) have the least percentage of candidates with criminal charges against them. 

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There has been a regular demand from the election commission that people with pending criminal cases be debarred from elections to prevent criminalisation of politics. In a long practised refrain, political parties have always stated that false and defamatory charges might then become a tactic to disqualify worthy candidates. Politicians are correct in saying that an ongoing criminal case cannot prove anybody guilty or be indicative of a conviction in future. The 2013 SC judgement that struck down section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples Act, on the other hand, now implies that a convicted MP or MLA immediately loses his seat. A recent example is the conviction of Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case by a Bangalore special court, after which she had to step down as the CM. She had to appeal in a higher court before she was acquitted of all charges this summer

However, there is a fair chance of some of the candidates getting convicted. And the more number of candidates with criminal cases a party fields, a commonsensical statistical guess is that the party will have more number of candidates who stand a chance of being convicted at some stage. This would hurt the party too, unless it aims to unlawfully influence the judicial process. Moreover, this data being available to voters these days through user-friendly apps, there is a chance that the voter will be suspicious of parties that field candidates with criminal cases. 

The expectation from political parties is simple. The law is definitely not aware of a candidate’s guilt until it is so proven, and perhaps this is what the voter too believes as even elected ministers have criminal charges against them. The criminal-political nexus develops when a political party fields a criminal precisely so that they may exercise extraneous power. This game can be played only as long as some new party – with a cleaner slate – does not play spoilsport, which happened with the arrival of AAP in Delhi (irrespective of all that’s happened after). All parties should learn this lesson. Or the public may teach them one.

 

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  1. Mohammad Yousuf

    An out of box thought process contradicting what main stream media claim: With the lynching and the killing of Muslims by RSS elements, with the incendiary rhetoric / divisive statements of Haryana CM, BJP Union Ministers, BJP Law Makers, MPs and MLAs; it is quite natural that Muslims have turned away from BJP.

    Thus BJP has become lame duck deprived from almost one crore and twenty five lakh Muslim Votes from Bihar, almost 20% vote not available to BJP.

    RSS Chief’s reminder to BJP to review the current reservation policy has turned away the OBC, EBC, SC and ST from BJP. This way, BJP is now deprived of the majority of 65% of Bihar population, more than 4 Crores of Bihari votes.

    With APND Modi making only Jumla, the general mass has turned away from BJP. All the people waited for Rs. 15 Lakhs for one-and-a half year instead they have got daal at Rs. 200 per kg.

    Biharis, mostly the poor, the deprived, the hand to mouth are furious at Modi for he follows crony capitalism and he has shun the constitutional duty of following the co-operative socialism!

    Only that particular class of people who dominated Bihar politics, prior to Mandal, majority of the ex-congressmen, and now have joined BJP in the hope of ruling Bihar again will automatically vote for BJP. This is the solid 15% vote bank of BJP – all weather ready, ever ready vote bank.

    BJP has logically given more than 50% of seats to this class. Interesting to note that the party with a difference, who abuse other political parties of minority apeasement and minority vote bank politics is performing same. Lesson – Is hamaam mein sab nangen hain!

    Encounter King of Gujarat, Amit Shah is using every Kautaliya Neeti in Bihar election, sam, dam, dand, vibhed. He recognised that dam works best in Bihar. And I learnt that BJP is distributing among the Bihari electorates Rs.10, 000 Crores. But this amount may fetch the BJP close to one Crore votes only. Since BJP needs at least 2.5 Crore votes in Bihar, its appropriately right time that BJP increases the amount to be distributed to Rs. 25, 000 Crore before it is too late!

    As if stationing half of the union cabinet ministers and most of the BJP MPs in Patna is not considered sufficiently enough for campaign, BJP is ringing danger bells demanding law makers from BJP ruled states to increase the quantum of the campaign but the sore outcome is that the Bihari electorates are refusing to listen to these Baharis, the outsiders.

    May be additional laws of Chanakya Neeti need to be applied. Last but not least: Wise ex-RSS Pracharak said: “If RSS ‘really’ (emphasis on ‘really’) wants you to win an election, almost no power on earth can stop you from winning an election!”

    Therefore Encounter King Amit Shah and Ham Panch Hamare Pachees Narendra Modi must drop every thing and run to Nagpur and beg RSS Chief to issue a Fatawa, a Firman to the RSS members to join the prachar lest Bihar 2015 becomes India 2004, 2009 fiasco!

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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