Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Decline in number of contesting Lok Sabha candidates with criminal records

Analysis by the Times of India indicates an approximately 30 per cent decline in the count of candidates with criminal records contesting the present Lok Sabha elections as compared to the statistics for the 2004 elections. While there may be many factors responsible for this decline, it is evident that civil society efforts such as the "No Criminals in Politics" and "Jaago Re" campaigns as well as the efforts of organisations like Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch have played a significant role in mobilising public outrage regarding the criminal backgrounds of the people's representatives to put pressure on political parties not to field candidates with criminal records. This blog has previously discussed such civil society initiatives here. However, there is no scope for complacency because it is likely that at least some, if not a good number of our elected representatives this time around too will have criminal backgrounds. Civil society initiatives must not stop until we really achieve a Parliament and state legislatures with no criminals.
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