Skip to main content

18% victory chances for criminal-candidates to win Indian polls, just 6% for non-criminals: US-based expert

By Our Representative
A recent book by a top-ranking Indian-American political scientist has calculated, on the basis of India’s data of general elections, that a candidate with serious criminal cases against him has 18 per cent chances of winning a general election in India, while a candidate with no cases has just six per cent chances of winning.
Milan Vaishnav, who senior fellow with the US-based thinktank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s South Asia programme , further says in his book, “When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics” (Harper Collins), “The median ‘clean’ candidate has a personal wealth of just above Rs 9 lakh, compared to roughly Rs 41 lakh for the median candidate with a serious criminal charge.”
Basing his analysis on the general elections in 2004, 2009, and 2014, the book, released even as the Uttar Pradesh was about to go the polls early this year, does not spare Prime Minister Narendra Modi either.
Referring to Modi’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh during the Lok Sabha polls, Vaishnav quotes Modi as saying, "We need to rid Parliament of criminals... I won't let them off the hook if I'm elected to power", and further: "No [criminal] accused will dare to fight polls.”
Suggesting that this was just a rhetoric, Vaishnav says, “Of its record number of MPs (282), 35 per cent faced ongoing criminal cases, and 22 per cent had serious cases pending, according to affidavits candidates themselves submitted to the Election Commission.”
Worse, he says, many of the BJP's suspected MPs found themselves into Modi's first cabinet, including eight with serious cases, with the BJP claiming, “the cases against their party men were politically motivated and lacking any legal basis, a standard first line of defense.”
“One such MP earning a ministerial berth was Sanjeev Baliyan, a man allegedly connected to the tense ethnic situation in the Western Uttar Pradesh town of Muzaffarnagar, which was the sight of grisly riots in 2013”, says Vaishnav.
In an interview with a top news agency about his book, Vaishnav later said, “Eight BJP MPs with serious cases eventually found their way into Modi’s first cabinet. Even Amit Shah, Modi’s long-time number two in Gujarat, was connected to three cases of extortion and conspiracy when the prime minister tapped him to be the BJP party president after coming to power in Delhi.”
On the latest polls in five states, including UP, Vaishnav’s book says, “In February and March 2017, voters in five Indian states are going to the polls. In each instance, the share of wealthy candidates in the fray is even larger than in the previous election.”
Vaishnav adds, “In the north Indian state of Punjab, for instance, 37 percent of contestants are “crorepatis” (that is, they possess a wealth greater than one crore, or 10 million rupees). In the tranquil coastal state of Goa, the assets of sitting politicians have grown by 50 percent in the past five years.”
The UP polls confirm Vaishnav’s analysis: An analysis of 402 MLAs has found that 143 MLAs or 36 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves. Of these, 114 are from the BJP. Further, 107 MLAs or 26 per cent of the MLAs, have declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder etc., against them.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Top Catholic group wants quota for Dalit Christians, foreign fund licenses revived

By Our Representative
Reiterating its long-pending demand to give "scheduled rights for Dalit Christians”, the All-India Catholic Union (AICU) has regretted that while converts to Sikhism and Buddhism from the former untouchable, or Dalit communities, have been included in the scheduled caste (SC) category, Christians from the identical communities have been “kept out.”