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Stats IQ: Criminalization of Politics

Context: The recent crimes in Lucknow bring back the notion of deep-rooted phenomenon of Criminalization of Politics in Indian Political system.

About Criminalization of Politics

  • It means the participation of criminals in politics. People with criminal background contest in the election and get selected as a Member of Parliament or state legislature.
  • In a democratic country like India, the increasing nexus between criminals and politics threatens the survival of true democracy.
  • The increasing percentage of members of parliament who have a criminal background:
  • 2004- 24%
  • 2009-30%
  • 2014-34%
  • 2019-43%
  • Nearly 50% of MPs in 2019 Lok Sabha have criminal records.
  • The increasing number of members with criminal records in parliament threatens the survival of any true democracy.

Reason behind the Criminalization of Politics

  • Increasing nexus between politicians and bureaucracy.
  • The increasing interference of politicians in administration.
  • At the time of the election, political parties spend a huge sum of money buying the votes for another illegitimate purpose.
  • Poor Governance: It plays an important role in increasing the criminalization of politics. It doesn’t have the proper laws and rules for governing the procedure of the election.

Way Forward

  • Law Commission 179th report on criminalization of politics
  • It recommended an amendment to the Representation of people act 1951.
  • It suggested the people with criminal backgrounds should be disqualified for five years or until acquittal.
  • It recommended that the person who wants to contest the election must furnish details regarding any pending case, with the copy of the FIR/complaint, and also furnish details of all assets.

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