Hoping that the 14th prime minister will provide clean and exemplary governance, the National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms wrote to the Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, requesting him not to induct those who had criminal cases registered against them into Parliament and his Cabinet.
The two agencies also brought to Modi’s notice that the newly formed 16th Lok Sabha would be housing 112 members of Parliament who are facing serious criminal charges while there are a total of 186 MPs who have criminal charges pending against them.
“The steady increase in the number of MPs facing criminal charges over the years is a matter of grave concern to the country. While in the 2004 session of the Lok Sabha, the number of MPs facing criminal charges was 24 per cent, in 2009 it had increased to 30 per cent, and in 2014 the number has reached 34 per cent,” the letter mentioned.
“In the Bharatiya Janata Party alone, 98 out of 281 MPs analysed by NEW and ADR have self-declared criminal cases, whereas 63 have self-declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, dacoity among others registered against them,” the letter pointed out.
In their two-point request, they said that MPs with serious criminal cases should not be made ministers or given chairs of responsibilities in the Parliament. Additionally, an MP should be assigned a portfolio in the Cabinet that poses him/her with a conflict of interests.
NEW and ADR said that they hoped that Modi would critically examine those with criminal cases and fast track cases against them, as he had mentioned during his election campaign.