New Delhi: Nearly half of the newly-elected Lok Sabha members have criminal charges against them, a 26% increase as compared to 2014, according to the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Of the 539 winning candidates analysed by the ADR, as many as 233 MPs or 43% have criminal charges.
The BJP has 116 MPs or 39% of its winning candidates with criminal cases, followed by 29 MPs (57%) from the Congress, 13 (81%) from the JDU, 10 (43%) from the DMK and nine (41%) from the TMC, the ADR said.
In 2014, 185 Lok Sabha members (34%) had criminal charges and 112 MPs had serious criminal cases against them. In 2009, 162 (nearly 30%) out of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs had criminal charges and 14% had serious criminal charges, it said.
In the new Lok Sabha, nearly 29% of the cases are related to rape, murder, attempt to murder or crimes against women, the non-governmental organisation said.
“There is an increase of 109% (in 2019) in the number of MPs with declared serious criminal cases since 2009,” it said.
Eleven winners – five from BJP, two from BSP, one each from Congress, NCP and the YSR Congress Party, and an Independent – have murder charges against them, the ADR said.
Pragya Singh Thakur, the newly-elected BJP MP from Bhopal, faces terror charges in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blasts. The Bharatiya Janata Party has faced a lot of criticism for fielding her.
Moreover, 29 winners have declared cases related to hate speech, it said.
Dean Kuriakose from the Congress, who won from the Idukki constituency in Kerala, has 204 criminal cases against him, including culpable homicide, house trespass, robbery, criminal intimidation, it added.