Even as political parties slug it out in Karnataka amidst charges of horse trading, threats and various inducements to force MLAs to switch sides, the recent elections have seen more number of candidates with criminal charges being elected to the assembly as compared to 2013. Nearly 35% of the newly elected MLAs are accused in criminal cases, according to electoral advocacy group Association for Democratic Reforms.
77 of the 221 MLAs, 34.7% of the winners in Karnataka’s assembly election have criminal cases against them.
Of these, 54 MLAs or 24.4% of the total MLAs are accused in serious criminal cases such as assault, murder, kidnap, rape, bribery and related to loss to exchequer. These are non-bailable offences with a punishment above 5 years.
Of the 77 MLAs with criminal cases – 42 are from BJP, 23 from Congress, 11 from JD(S) and 1 from BSP.
BOOM had earlier reported that 15% of the total candidates have criminal cases and 10% have serious criminal cases against them.
BJP has the highest share of MLAs with criminal cases
40% of BJP MLAs, 30% each of Congress and JD(S) MLAs have criminal cases against them.
Anand Singh – Congress MLA from Vijayanagar constituency has the most number (16) of criminal cases, followed by B Nagendra (15) – Congress MLA from Bellary and S A Ravindranath (11) – BJP MLA from Davanagere North.
Interestingly in the high-stakes political drama that is currently taking place in the state, Anand Singh did not show up to the legislative party meeting held in Bengaluru, triggering speculations that he may rejoin the BJP, reports the Indian Express. JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy has also alleged that the Modi government is “threatening” MLAs reminding them of cases filed pending against them.
Modi govt is misusing institutions of central govt. I know they are threatening MLAs. Anand Singh (Cong MLA) told ‘they are using ED, I had a case in ED & they are going to screw me. I’m sorry I have to protect my interest,’ another Cong MLA who spoke to Singh told me-Kumaraswamy pic.twitter.com/QrzW8eHeAR
— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
BOOM had earlier reported that 37% of BJP candidates, 27% of Congress candidates and 21% of JD(S) candidates are accused in criminal cases.
Karnataka has seen an increase in MLAs with criminal cases
Compared to 2013, the state has also seen more candidates with criminal cases being voted to victory in the recent election. In 2013, the corresponding number was 74/218 (34%) and in 2008 it was 42/211 (20%), according to data from ADR.
When compared to other states, Karnataka stands 10th in terms of MLAs facing criminal cases