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

Encourage good citizens to join politics

Even though the standard of governance has deteriorated, nobody is interested in clean administration and social welfare. There is no end to scams and scandals.

Like criminals, tainted politicians, too, are the products of social culture and circumstances. The coalition culture has been proving to be a liability. Every political party has its share of tainted politicians. No party is strong enough to avoid them.

The Constitution does not debar any citizen from contesting elections. There is a near-total total confusion and the problem has become more severe, as it entangles many agents like individuals, political parties, public, judiciary and the Election Commission. Tainted politicians rule without caring for the law and the official machinery has no alternative, but to bear with their manners. Criminals enter legislative bodies not to serve the nation, but to get protection for their nefarious activities.

The awakening of the public becomes more urgent. Media can play a role in exposing tainted politicians. Youngsters, women, professionals and honest persons should be encouraged to join politics and contest elections; the judiciary should act quickly on cases and the Election Commission should have the absolute legal power to disallow tainted politicians from contesting elections.

S. S. SEKHON, Chandigarh

People need to be careful

Tainted ministers are a plague in our political system. No organisation can work, if its members are corrupt. We choose our own government; we can stop them from coming to power by not electing them.

We need to understand that casting a vote does not mean simply pressing a button on the election machine. No doubt, choosing them is our right but it’s more our duty to choose the right leaders. The media can make the people aware of the activities of the politicians. The Elections Commission, of course, should also be very careful not to let these tainted men come to power.


Give more powers to the President

The problem is because of the absence of a strict moral code of conduct candidates in election. A grass-root politician exploits religious and caste-based sentiments of the people to get elected. A rich candidate plays money and muscle cards to achieve his or her aims.

After winning the election, the same politician plays these cards again to become a minister. Matters of national importance find no place in their agenda.

Let us give more powers to the President, Prime Minister, Speaker, Election Commissioner and, above all, the judiciary to evolve a flawless moral code of conduct by plugging loopholes in the Constitution, followed by the will to enforce it.

S. K. BLASSI, Mohali


True answer to this problem may create more questions for our democracy and the Constitution. For the MPs, amending the Constitution should be easy, but it’s just that they don’t have to will to do it.

The MPs are entitled to getting pension after one term, but there is no specific age for their retirement. It’s always the chiefs of defence who retire, but not the Defence Minister.

Today, we need a very high authority to oversee the functioning of our government and rather all MPs. This official could be either the President or the Chief Justice of India. In the last 59 years of our democracy, India has shown a deep regards for both offices.

When you know that you are being watched, your behaviour changes. Now our MPs watch the movements of other MPs, when clearly both are tainted. The government’s inaction against the tainted MPs is a cruel joke. We sell nation’s integrity for the sake of votes. The present democracy is without patriotism. We need the young generation to clean our ailing system.

Not punishing a criminal is a crime itself, and of a more serious nature.

Maj J. S. PASSI (retd), Ludhiana


Tainted minister have poisoned the drum of politics. The only measure to hinder them is that the public should unite against them. The President, Prime Minister and Election Commission will have to act tough. The President in consultation with the Prime Minister has the power to dismiss the tainted ministers, so they need to take a firm step in this direction.

The Election Commission should check the background of each candidate and have a clear picture of the persons seeking ticket. Parliament can also consult the Indian Penal Code for prosecuting tainted politicians for offences like the “cash for query” scam.


Parties, pay heed

As the problem of keeping out tainted politicians concerns all political parties, they should try to tackle it as one and at every possible step. Deny ticket to the tainted. Resist their entry into the ministry. Dismiss those already in the ministry. Most important, come to the rescue of the government, if those dismissed try to topple it.

In this connection, I recall Justice Rajinder Sachar’s article “Drop tainted ministers” that came out in The Tribune. He suggested that the NDA should publicly pledge to come to the rescue of the UPA, if Lalu, when dismissed, tries to pull down the government.

We expect different countries to put up a united fight against terrorism, as it affects all. Can’t we expect our own parties to also put up a united fight against corruption?

Wg-Cdr C. L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Punish the guilty, set an example

To think evil is a sin and to do evil is a crime. Nobody can prophesise when and where a sin would become a crime, marking one as tainted. Neither society nor polity suffers from mis-creation, but both suffer from mismanagement. Address this fundamental problem.

Value attachment system prevails. Our materialistic society attaches more value to power and pelf and men get attracted. Remove kingly crowns from the heads of MLAs or MPs and you’ll find that they are no more than underachieving social activists at best.

Outside Parliament they are not above law and inside Parliament, too, they are bound by a code of conduct. The wild should not be spared, especially when there are rules for everything. Punish the guilty. That is all. Set an example. Neither society would become literate overnight nor would the political parties ever fall in line.


Curb false affidavits

Before taking action against anyone, we have to know who are the tainted politicians. Tainted politicians are leaders who have at any time used illegal means to advance. It’s our duty to keep them away from elections. Political parties should resolve never to give ticket to any such leader. The Election Commission should make it compulsory for every candidate to sign a declaration that he or she has never been involved in any crime. The purpose of this declaration would be defeated, if we do not have stringent punishment for giving a false statement.

Prof P. K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Verify their character

The Election Commission, with the tacit support of other Constitutional bodies, including the Supreme Court and the Office of the President of India, is competent through its innovative measures to control tainted politicians. Withholding the consent on the Office of Profit Bill and the support by the Supreme Court to the Election Commission, holding them competent to take any measures thinking right for holding free and fair elections, are the glaring examples of the freedom the Election Commission enjoys.

The EC, by its assertion in the Assembly elections in Bihar and West Bengal, has proved its supremacy to the extent that even some politicians have also held the view that state Assemblies and Parliament should let in only dignified, wise and calibrated people as public representatives.

The EC can introduce steps like character verification of the candidates by the respectable people of the constituency. Verification of the antecedents of the prospective candidates through the police and CID are the other measures the EC should note, besides asking candidates to declare their assets and liabilities. Political parties should also refrain from sending tainted people to the august bodies.

J. R. KAPOOR, Chamba

Define clearly the tainted

We should bring out by consensus a specific definition of a tainted individual. Our elections are fought on the basis of caste, creed, group, religion, and money and muscle power. It is difficult to stop tainted persons from fighting elections when we can’t even define who is tainted and who is not.

The following information may be collected from candidates and communicated to voters before polling: (1) That the applicant has not been declared defaulter by any government/government agency for financial dues and no case of this nature is pending in the courts. (2) That he or she has not occupied any government land illegally. (3) That no case is pending against him/spouse/blood relations in courts, for which charges have been framed.

An affidavit should be obtained from him or her that if during his or her tenure as public representative, any charge is registered in court, he or she will be bound to step down from his or her post until the charge is cleared.

P. C. BHANDARI, Batala


The term “tainted” should be specified by the Home Ministry, approved by the President and thereafter taught politicians the meaning in a language that they can understand. It is a shame that people at large know its meaning but politicians do not.

Dr U.S. BANSAL, Chandigarh



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |