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Cleaning up politics is need of the hour

Highlights

Cleaning up Politics is Need of The Hour. An analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) released on Friday says that 44 (23 per cent) out of 194 cabinet ministers from 13 assemblies and 12 (27 per cent) out of 45 union ministers have self declared criminal cases against themselves.

Survey puts TS, AP ministers in poor light

An analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) released on Friday says that 44 (23 per cent) out of 194 cabinet ministers from 13 assemblies and 12 (27 per cent) out of 45 union ministers have self declared criminal cases against themselves.

The analysis finds that it is not just ministers but even two Chief Ministers-- K Chandrasekhar Rao of Telangana and N Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh -- figure in criminal cases. Telangana has the highest -- 90 per cent of ministers with criminal cases followed by Andhra Pradesh (56 per cent), Karnataka (34 per cent) and Odisha (27 per cent).

According to statistics, there are serious criminal charges against Union water resources minister Uma Bharti (attempt to murder), Union rural development minister Nitin Gadkari (criminal intimidation), Union women and child welfare department Maneka Gandhi (criminal intimidation) and Union health minister Harshvardhan (charges of rioting).

“Thirty per cent of ministers in the Narendra Modi government have declared criminal cases against themselves and 18 per cent have declared "serious criminal cases",” according to the study which analysed affidavits of 44 of the 46 members in the Union council of ministers.

The analysis found that ministers from Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim had declared criminal cases against themselves.

In the National Election Study (NES 2009), voters were asked whether they would prefer a candidate with a criminal record who got work done or a clean politician who couldn’t get their work done. The rural poor said that they would not mind voting for a candidate with a criminal record if the candidate could get their work done. They also preferred an approachable politician to an honest politician. The poor's preference for a politician who can get things done "no matter what" is, in our opinion, because of the daily actions of a state that either treats the poor shabbily all year round, intimidates them, or is simply absent. That needs to be addressed.

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