In world's largest democracy, more lawmakers charged with crime

NEW DELHI Sun May 18, 2014 3:47pm IST

Television journalists report from the premises of Parliament in New Delhi February 13, 2014. . REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

Television journalists report from the premises of Parliament in New Delhi February 13, 2014. .

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - More legislators charged with crimes will sit in the new parliament than previously, a democracy watchdog said on Sunday, in a reminder that crime still pays in the world's largest democracy.

Prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, who made fighting graft a central plank of his victorious campaign, won a stunning mandate to govern India by claiming the first clear majority in three decades.

But many of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colleagues elected to the new parliament faces serious criminal charges. Four out of the nine legislators who face murder cases come from his party.

Thirty-four percent of the winners in the election have criminal cases pending against them, four percentage points more than in 2009, analysis of the candidates affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms found.

Of that, 21 percent were charged with serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, up from 15 percent in the last election, the group said.

In India, political parties are more likely to field criminals who are able to pay their own way. Election expenses have soared, with as much as $5 billion estimated to have been spent in this election.

Moreover, criminals are often winners, with voters choosing candidates they think will take care of their parochial interests when the state isn't able to, analysts say. 

Criminals who have easy access to liquid forms of financing can see politics as a lucrative career. 

"Many of these deep-pocketed candidates view the money they must spend on elections ... as a down payment on an investment that offers serious returns," Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote in a recent commentary.

(Reporting by Sruthi Gottipati; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Simon Cameron-Moore)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Mining Reform

Mining Reform

Foreign firms with India units could mine, sell coal - source.  Full Article 

No Deflation Fears

No Deflation Fears

Indian consumers respond to softer oil, food prices.  Full Article 

West at Fault

West at Fault

Iran supreme leader blames West for Islamic State rise, wants regional solution.  Full Article 

Yazidi Genocide

Yazidi Genocide

Islamic State onslaught on Yazidis may be attempted genocide - U.N..  Full Article 

IS in India

IS in India

India says Islamic State not yet a threat.  Full Article 

Denying Claims

Denying Claims

Singer Kesha denied drug, sex claims against producer three years ago.  Full Article 

Top Editor Dies

Top Editor Dies

Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee dies at 93.  Full Article 

Diwali Pollution

Diwali Pollution

Delhi braces for worst air quality this Diwali week.  Full Article 

Goal Fest

Goal Fest

Champions League sets record with 40 goals in one night.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage