Earlier in Forum







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

Gather intelligence on candidates

Parliament is a place where intellectuals debate contentious issues to hammer out decisions determining the fate of our nation. Parliament should look like a Parliament indeed, where courtesy and tolerance prevail and should not become a field where the use of muscle power and unparliamentary language can subvert our democratic system.

It is high time to ponder on the virtal issue how the Sadhu Yadavs capture power in our democratic set-up. Parliament should frame a law which abundantly empowers the Election Commission to drop any tainted candidate.

A special intelligence wing should raised to furnish the necessary information to the Election Commission about the track record of any candidate suspected to be tainted. Any candidate involved in any criminal case with enquiries pending in any court should be strictly banned from contesting elections. It should be made mandatory for the candidate to collect a certificate from the area SSP about criminal case, if any, pending in any court against them. Above all, fast track courts should be established exclusively for corrupt politicians.

BALWINDER SINGH, Raipur Parohla, Jalandhar

Say no to sops

The people of India know well how to oust tainted candidates; what stops them from doing so is their own self-interest. Do we have the guts to say no to the sops that we get from these politicians? What steps have we taken to inform ourselves and communicate to others what we know about the representatives?

Millions of sets of chosen few get one small exclusive benefit or the other, not aware that their collective billion is kept deprived, overall. Groups of educated citizens could visit rural India and tell the poor about the choices and help them form an opinion. For this, we need quality literates who understand social, political, cultural and economic issues.

There is a need is to discard this attitude that “politics is a dirty game”; to clean this dirt, someone has to take the first step into the mud.

MANU SHARMA, Chandigarh

Make voting compulsory

The present Lok Sabha has nearly 130 of its members with criminal background. The cause of the problem is our electoral system. It is our electorate that cast their franchise in favour of these criminals. At the time of elections, voters are influenced by money and muscle power, which criminals have in plenty. They get the votes by fair and foul means, the majority of our voters being illiterate. Electoral reforms can put a ban on criminals entering politics.

Criminals take advantage of pending cases and verdicts in courts. The political parties have to give them tickets because of the coalition culture since 1977. Once a case of a criminal nature is registered against any citizen, he or she should be banned from fighting election. Simultaneously, casting of the vote should be made compulsorily. Though there is no dearth of honest persons, they have neither the money nor the muscle power to replace criminals in legislatures. The government should bear all election expenses of honest candidates. The right-thinking people, who are terribly aggrieved by this system, have to come out in the open against these criminals.

S. K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Media should screen all candidates

Whenever a scam is unearthed, a probe commission is set up, which ultimately punishes no politician. Even the most corrupt and tainted politicians are set free. Our judicial system takes ages to give a verdict and, by the end of it, all is forgotten. Tainted politicians enjoy the patronage of the government as well as the Opposition.

Opposition parties, including the BJP and Samajwadi Party, sought the resignation of former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh, following the Volcker Committee report. After Mr Singh had to leave the post, he started attacking the government of which he had been a member not so long ago and joined the Opposition—the BJP and Samajwadi Party—in criticizing the PM. This is just one example of how in the present scenario, there is no political holy water.

The media should screen candidates for voters and make a strong opinion against tainted politicians. The Election Commission shouldn’t allow criminals to become representatives. It should be made mandatory for candidates to submit their police record. The parties should not encourage such politicians.

RAJESH SHARMA, Jalandhar Cantonment


Within six decades of autonomy, the quality and character of Indian polity has deteriorated. Most recently, Parliament witnessed the lowest unconventional behavior of a few Parliamentarians who affronted the pious institution of democracy.

This is a matter of enormous apprehension how to keep musclemen away from the affairs of the state? To prevent such politicians from fighting elections, enactment of preventive legislation is the need of the hour, but who will bell the cat, as all political parties are nakedly tainted.

It’s for the electorate to recognise their real messiahs. Electoral reforms would give teeth to the EC to debar tainted politicians. All parties have to enforce a code of ethics and moral conduct and deny ticket to tainted candidates.

The EC could also educate the electorate through the media not to vote for a person who stands against the law. Voluntary organisations and leading entertainers could conduct awareness camps in rural areas.


Vote them out

It is well known that candidates fighting elections from jails do get elected. The elector is more to blame here than the policies of the government? Is it fair for policy makers to accept nomination from persons who have already been convicted by the law? Surely, this should be avoided.

Tainted politicians enter the public sphere because of either the ignorance of the people or the money and muscle power. The poor voter has no alternative but to vote for such candidates.

To stop such persons from fighting any public election, verification of police record of at least last ten years should be compulsory for all intending candidates. If tainted politicians somehow get their nomination accepted, it becomes the duty of the elector to vote them out. Political parties should also be made to understand that they better not field tainted politicians as candidates.

P. N. GUPTA, Sangrur

Identify dedicated leaders

All discussion is futile, if action doesn’t follow. The system is such that any body can do any thing and still nothing happens. The custodians of the people’s rights flout the rules and still claim to be protectors. Every one seeks power just to fill his or her own coffers.

Our leaders deliver long sermons and declare rosy schemes that are never implemented. I wonder how they prepare expensive schemes without having any funds. We should eliminate crime from politics in small steps. The plight of the public cannot be improved until bring dedicated and sincere leaders who care for the ordinary people. Our freedom fighters gave us freedom and democracy and we have turned it into “demonocracy”.

S. K. AGGARWAL, On e-mail

Just enforce the rules

In the 14th Lok Sabha there are 136 MPs (nearly 1/4th of the House) with criminal background, while the first Lok Sabha had none. The increasing induction of criminals in politics is the negative aspect of democracy in India. Tainted politicians like Arun Gawli, Pappu Yadav and Sadhu Yadav, who have history of winning ballots with bullets, now rule the people. There are rules that bar such people from fighting elections; the need of the hour is to implement these rules strictly. The role of media is foremost in this regard. We often hear of the trial and then the acquittal of criminal politicians, but the media seldom show their criminal history. The media should alert the masses about such criminal politicians.

Prithi Chand, Chandigarh

Make an informed choice

The people should not vote tainted politicians to power, but make an informed choice based on the candidate’s credibility and past record. Judiciary should dispose of cases against tainted politicians on a fast track, so that convicted politicians are unable to contest elections. The Election Commission should ensure free and fair elections so that the people don’t cast their vote out of fear or coercion. All politicians should furnish information relating to their assets, liabilities, educational qualification and criminal antecedents before contesting elections so that the people can make an informed choice. Law and order situation should be strengthened during elections to prevent rigging, booth capturing and bogus voting. Political parties should not field criminals or tainted politicians as their candidates.

The process of appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and other ECs should be made more transparent and free from politics. The negative system of voting to be introduced, in which a candidate has to get more than fifty per cent of the valid votes polled to get elected. Voters should the choice to reject all candidates, if needed. Voters should have the right to recall representatives who have performed badly or have not been accountable. This would act as a deterrent for tainted politicians. Electoral laws should be strengthened.


Govt should take initiative

Tainted ministers act as poison for the organs of the nation. The moment any minister is convicted of any crime, he or she should be thrown out of the government. If they continue to be in legislature, they will bring down the reputation of the House. Ultimately, it becomes the responsibility of the government to kick out the tainted. The purpose of election is to elect a better man. The government should keep a proper vigil on its ministers and their nomination papers and police record should be screened before elections.

SHUCHI MAKOL, Fatehgarh Sahib

Assess performance of leaders

The performance and conduct of politicians has deteriorated after the unrestricted entry of tainted men in Parliament.

A separate, independent, unbiased, non-government committee (comprising members of the intelligentsia) should be framed for making an annual evaluation of the performance of political leaders. The report of such assessment of the achievements and failures of politicians should be published so that the common masses can take the right decision while casting their votes. The records of tainted and corrupt leaders should be specially highlighted.

The Supreme Court should issue directives prohibiting tainted politicians from contesting elections. In case of violation of these directives, tainted politicians should be declared disqualified and the political party concerned should be strictly penalised for betraying the common masses.

A nationwide literacy drive should be initiated with a time-bound framework to spread education and awareness among the less-privileged and downtrodden, who easily succumb to the false promises of tainted politicians.

The media should highlight the criminal record of the tainted. The educated working class should join politics and elect selfless candidates. All the sections of society should join hands to cleanse politics.




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