Earlier in Forum







Q: What should be done to stop tainted politicians from fighting elections?
This is the second instalment of readers’ response.

All parties should deny them ticket

Truth, honesty, dedication and justice seem mirages when a corrupt politician leads the nation. Stopping tainted politicians from fighting elections is the biggest challenge. The greatness of a nation lies not in its material wealth, but in the upkeep of its traditions, values of self-abnegation and concern for brotherhood.

What happened in Parliament recently proved that we should not yet be proud of the kind of democracy that has taken roots. Either a concrete law should be made to oust this malady or we should get ready to face dire consequences. Parties should be advised not to give tickets to candidates who have a tainted image. Life ban should be imposed on such politicians.

Ticket to candidates should be given only after proper verification of their records. If found involved in even minor offences, the candidates should be barred from fighting elections. This can be effective to some extent.



The presidents of various political parties should review police records of all aspirants for party tickets. The political parties should say not to victory through tainted persons and select nominees who have excellent past record, a clean image and the desire to work for the nation. The parties should not allot tickets to the persons with criminal record.


Reduce the role of money

The use of money and muscle power in Indian politics is a harsh reality. Persons with criminal background find politics a safe haven and misuse their positions. All political parties have given tickets to tainted politicians. Election is just another modus operandi through which these elements perpetrate new crimes. The Election Commission should seek from them details of their educational qualification, assets, background etc. Any person convicted by law should be debarred from contesting elections.

The role of money should be reduced in elections. Election expenditure should be reduced, and if possible, be borne by the state. All parties should deny tickets to persons who have been in criminal activities.

The media can release details of the black sheep. This is a battle all of us should fight together for better governance.

VIKRAM, Jalandhar

Hire leaders on contract

“When the king is deceitful, who will not be deceitful? When the king is unrighteous, who will not be unrighteous?” said poet Somadeva. The nation cannot induct tainted politicians when the question is of national security and national interest.

Tainted politicians should be debarred the moment a case of misconduct is filed against them.

Politicians should be hired on contract and fired at will. They who get beaten in election should be kept away from politics for the next five years till they show any change for the better.

The income and assets of all politicians should be assessed annually and the police should verify the character of each candidate before elections are held.

SUBER SINGH PARIHAR, Yol Cantonment (Kangra)

Fast-track courts are the answer

Parliament and state assemblies are like holy places in a democratic set-up and the persons occupying the seats in there are supposed to have high integrity. It is our misfortune that our representatives are not only tainted, but also lucky to be living under a law that allows them to always go scot-free.

Once a person is accused of some offence, he should be debarred from entering public life. It is a mere excuse that no action can be taken against tainted politicians until they are convicted. He or she can be allowed to re-enter politics when found absolutely clean.

Our judicial system also requires an overhaul. Fast-track courts should investigate corruption charges against politicians and public representatives convicted by these courts should be awarded exemplary punishment.



Despite six decades of democracy and numerous electoral reforms, tainted politicians still get elected. This is the result of our politics being based more on narrow considerations of caste, region, religion, gender and other damaging lacunae than on sounds principles of proven ideologies. To prevent the tainted from fighting elections, a three-pronged strategy is envisaged.

First, our courts should ensure—through a special effort—that all cases against candidates fighting elections are disposed of speedily, establishing conclusively their innocence or culpability. Secondly, the Election Commission should further tighten things so that only deserving candidates get to fight elections.

Thirdly, all candidates should be extensively engaged in face-to-face public debates with their rivals, at least once so that the voters can straightway reject the unsuitable. The media should play a responsible, fair and non-partisan role during the elections.

Brig (retd) GOVIND SINGH KHMTA, Shimla

Awaken the public

Public awakening is the best way to deal with tainted politicians. Once Parliament becomes free from tainted politicians, a law can be enforced to stop tainted persons from entering politics.

The Election Commission is one institution that can stop tainted politicians from entering mainstream politics. The EC should not let such persons file nominations from any constituency. If the EC fails, the voter should step in. Ultimately, the solution lies within and not outside. Lessons on moral education and life histories of great martyrs and leaders should be included in the school curriculum so that our coming generations should have good role models.


Go for police verification

The presence of criminals and musclemen in politics is a scourge. Nowadays, directly or indirectly, every party takes the help of local toughies to win seats. In Mahatma’s country, leaders have forgotten all ethos and high traditions in personal as well as public life. The situation aggravates when common citizens try to emulate them and corruption percolates from top to bottom. In a democratic system, politics affects each activity.

Complete police verification is done before recruiting even an ordinary employee in government service; but there is no solid device to ascertain the credentials of a political candidate, who is expected to decide the course of a country.

If a political party is strong within, no tainted person can ever become a political candidate. The policy to give tickets should be clear. When our leaders claim to know the country so well; it is startling how a person’s criminal background evades their eyes.

A political party should inculcate a sense in its members that politics is a service, not a profession and sacrifice is an imperative part of it. If a person is convicted for any offence, he or she should voluntarily leave the political arena.

All political parties should sit together and arrive at a consensus on the issue, if they are really concerned about the well being of the people and if they truly respect the Constitution.



In Parliament and state assembly sessions, tainted politicians are the ones who disrupt the House and exchange blows. It has become the need of the hour to stop them from fighting elections. Tainted politicians should be identified and debarred from fighting elections. There should be a proper police verification for electoral candidates, as done when we have to get a passport. If any criminal case under Section of the law has been registered against the candidate in any police station in India, he or she should be declared ineligible to fight the election. An affidavit from each candidate may be sought, declaring that he or she is not involved in any corruption case and bears a good moral character.



A politician after winning an election becomes like any other government servant. If police verification is mandatory for even a candidate for the post of a peon in the government sector, politicians who seek election should also put character certificate from the police on their nomination papers. The papers of candidates who have got adverse remarks from the police should be rejected.

SARVESH KUMAR, Jalandhar City

Redefine EC’s limits and powers

“As per the Election Commission, 1,500 candidates in the 1996 Parliamentary election had criminal record and 40 of them got elected. In the state legislature, the picture is even more distressing. Out of 4,072 sitting MLAs in all states, more than 700 have criminal record.”

“Ballot with bullet” is the rule of the day. From criminalisation of politics, we have moved to politicisation of crime. One can imagine the situation when criminals are entitled to legislate for the land.

If the process of electoral reforms is to be made useful, it should involve a comprehensive overhaul of multi-track dimensions of the electoral system. These reforms should examine alternative systems of representation, restructure the Election Commission and redefine its limits and powers.

At the micro level, we can also contemplate the introduction of electronic vote counting machine, issuance of mandatory identity cards to check impersonation, compulsory audit of funds of every party through the medium of CAG at least twice a year. Necessarily, the persons with criminal records should be disqualified from being candidates.

In a democratic country, all powers lies in the hands of the voters. An awakening among the general public can put criminal politicians in their right place.


The voter has the key

It is rightly said that in a democracy, we get what we deserve. Tainted politicians do not fall from heaven or some other planet. The onus is upon the people. We elect them and send them to the state assemblies/Parliament, whereas, the law of the land would have sent them behind bars forever.

The pathetic political mess we are in is not so ordained by the almighty, but is of our own making and the solution also lies with us.

I have the following suggestions: the educated voters should spread awareness among the masses that our vote is the sole weapon to defeat tainted candidates, for no law could ever debar their entry into politics.

We should not vote on the basis of caste, colour, creed and blind party affiliation. Voters may sit under any party’s flag, but should vote according their conscience.

We should elect only those candidates who have a proven track record and disdain ill-gotten wealth. This will free the nation from goons masquerading as leaders.

Lieut SUKHDEV SINGH GILL (retd), Jagraon

Law should deal with tainted

Tainted politicians are more interested in self-aggrandisement than in the welfare of society and the country. Do they grace the legislatures by their presence? Recently, a most shameful showdown between two tainted Members of Parliament brought down the dignity of the great institution. Karein gey kya rafoo voh qaum key chaak-e-girebaan ko / jinhein apna phata daaman abhee seena nahin aata (chaak-e-girebaan: collar slit).

It is high time that criminal elements were brushed off. There should be a law to debar all candidates facing criminal charges from fighting elections. All right-thinking workers of political parties, which give tickets to criminals to make use of their muscle power to bully schnooks to garner their votes, should exert pressure on the leaders to avoid them.

The media and law-abiding public-spirited persons should create awareness among the common people to shun tainted politicians in elections.


Bring a Bill and see who objects

There is no doubt that tainted politicians will try to get elected by hook or crook and, after election, please themselves by accepting cash for question and digging into the MLAD fund for their own interests. As per the Constitution, no voter can be debarred from becoming a candidate. Without changing the election system with legislation, tainted politicians can’t be debarred. We will have the privilege to know which politician has been serving the country honestly when such a Bill is introduced in Parliament. We’ll look at who presents the Bill and who votes in support of it.

N. M. HANSI, Ludhiana

Educate the poor

The youth should be aware of the country’s law, culture and polity. They should be able to tell right from wrong so that they can vote for the right person. They should not let politicians exploit them or make a fool of them. Politicians gain status because we make them. Without our acceptance, their status is nothing. If the country is in wrong hands today, it is because of us. Education should spread so that even the poor are able to make the right choice.





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