Karnataka ranks sixth in India considering criminal cases charged against their sitting MPs.
Karnataka has 28 sitting MPs in the forthcoming 16th Lok Sabha elections as reported by Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch. Out of the 28 MPs nine have criminal cases against them and five have serious criminal cases. Fifty per cent of the sitting MPs running for the 2019 elections have criminal charges against them.
T.S Chandrashehkar Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) spokesperson said, “In our BJP party, if any of our party members, activists are involved in anti-social elements, over transaction or any rampant corruption we do not give them the tickets. Some MPs who have a criminal background what happens is that when they are doing a peaceful protest, sometimes unnecessarily the state government frames false cases on them because they want to defame that particular legislature or MP.”
Drawing a parallel line between the highest number of BJP MPs sitting in the state and the crimes committed, these 17 members have been booked under serious charges like attempts to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping and crimes against women
Congress Party Spokesperson Surya Mukundharaj stated that, “Supreme Court had recently heard a petition relating to MPs and MLA’s cases where they are facing corruption charges, rape and murder and charges against other heinous offences. And there are more than 1585 MPs and MLA’s who are facing their pending trails. So, SC has constituted a special trail court which is in Karnataka as well and a special judge to look after these cases.”
He added that this is a serious matter where people are not aware and they are electing the representatives with criminal background. He said, “This is a serious threat to democracy. Congress is very strict in selecting their candidates. There are minor charges against the Congress sitting MPs. Sections 154 like movement struggle and issue based political charges are there. There are no heinous charges on our MPs.”
Out of nine, seven BJP MPs and one from Congress and JD(S) each have been booked under criminal charges in Karnataka. Prahlad Joshi from BJP has been booked for communal disharmony.
Six MPs standing from Dharward, Shivmogga, Belgaum, Dakshinna Kannada, Bijapura, Bangalore Central and Rural constituencies are from the BJP party and D. Shivramme Gowda from JD(S) is also allegedly accused of criminal offences. Among Karnataka MPs, Bangalore Rural sitting MP and also the Congress candidate for 2019 DK Suresh has the most number of cases lodged against him eight, and have been charged.
Abdul Razakh a Political Analyst mentioned, “In an election, to win an election, the opposition party will plan and plant some cases on them, but most of the times it will not be the same. I think if there are allegations, people should be allowed to contest elections. But if there are any convictions on them, they should be restricted.”