Criminality in politics has become common over years as criminals began to overrun it.
The runaway rape-accused former Samajwadi minister has been caught within days of the SP losing power in Uttar Pradesh. Mysterious as the flight and later apprehending of the politician, within a day of the Union home minister meeting the state DGP, the issue shows how powerful politicians feel confident of defying the system whenever it pleases them. While Gayatri Prajapati is presumed innocent until proven guilty of the rape of a woman and her minor daughter, he chose to betray himself by going on the run during the polls, with his disappearance and his party’s inaction possibly helping to tilt the scales against SP, that tried to protect him. The UP police was so beholden to its bosses that it registered an FIR only after the Supreme Court ordered it.
Criminality in politics has become common over years as criminals began to overrun it, justifying the old saying that politics is the last resort of the scoundrel. Altogether 143 of UP’s 403 new MLAs have criminal cases against them, including murder. The most notorious, mafia don Mukhtar Ansari of BSP, has 16 cases, including five charges of murder. It is estimated 30 per cent of our MPs have criminal records. The Election Commission, Law Commission and many upright leaders have sought the disqualification of candidates with criminal charges, which may be punishable by over four years of imprisonment if proved guilty. Politician-criminals have misused the crucial right to be elected to Parliament, while the government has been silent on a much-needed reform for far too long.