At least 48 MPs and MLAs have declared cases related to crime against women, with BJP having the highest number of such politicans at 12, a report said on Thursday amid a nation-wide outrage over rape incidents, including UP’s Unnao where a ruling party lawmaker is an accused.
“Out of 1,580 (33 per cent) MPs/MLAs analysed with declared criminal cases, 48 have declared cases related to crime against women,” as per the report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
This includes 45 MLAs and 3 MPs, who have declared cases of crime against women such as charges related to assault of woman with intent to outrage her modesty, kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her to marriage, rape, domestic violence and trafficking, the Delhi-based think-tank said.
Giving party-wise details, the report said that BJP has the highest number of MPs and MLAs ie 12, followed by Shiv Sena (7) and Trinamool Congress (6) who have declared cases related to crime against women.
The report is based on an analysis of 4,845 out of 4,896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. This includes 768 out of 776 affidavits of MPs and 4,077 out of 4,120 MLAs across the country.
“All major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crime against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens. These are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognisance have been taken by the courts. Hence, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament,” the report said.
Among states, Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs and MLAs (12), followed by West Bengal (11), Odisha and Andhra Pradesh each with five MPs and MLAs who have declared cases related to crime against women.
ADR and National Election Watch (NEW) have recommended that candidates with serious criminal background should be debarred from contesting elections.
Also, political parties should disclose the criteria on which candidates are given tickets and that cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast-tracked and decided upon in a time-bound manner, they added.
According to the report, in the last five years, recognised parties have given tickets to 26 candidates who had declared cases related to rape. During this period, 14 independent candidates with declared cases related to rape have contested for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state Assembly elections. As per the analysis, 327 candidates who had declared cases related to crime against women were given tickets by recognised political parties.
Also, 118 independent candidates with declared cases related to crime against women had contested for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state Assembly elections in the last five years.
Among major parties, in the last five years, 47 candidates with declared cases related to crime against women were given tickets by BJP. As many as 35 such candidates were given tickets by BSP, followed by 24 from Congress. The candidates had contested in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state Assembly polls.
The report also noted that among states, in the last five years, Maharashtra had the highest number of such candidates at 65, followed by Bihar (62) and West Bengal (52) (including independents).
The analysis comes at a time when there are rising rape incidents, including those reported from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, Unnao and Surat in Gujarat.