UP leaders jittery after SC verdict on convicted politicos

The apex court verdict on convicted public representatives has sent shock waves among politicians and legislators in Uttar Pradesh, where almost half the state Assembly members have criminal antecedents with some even facing murder charges.

Many politicians, who are in the jail on heinous charges, will especially bear the brunt of the apex court order as they may not be able to contest the polls, at least in the near future.

The judgment has also put a question mark on the political future of many other prominent politicians, including former UP ministers, who were facing charges of corruption and could be arrested any time.

As many as 189 legislators, constituting 47 per cent of the House, which has a total strength of 403, have criminal cases pending against them. Out of them,  98 have been facing criminal charges of serious nature, according to a report of the UP Election Watch.

There were 140 ‘tainted’ members in the previous assembly.

Almost half of the Samajwadi Party (SP) legislators are facing criminal charges. The figure for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) stands at 29 while there are 25 “tainted” MLAs in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Criminal cases were pending against 13 Congress legislators as well, the report said.

Mitrasen Yadav, SP legislator from Faizabad district, faces the maximum number of 36 criminal cases followed by independent MLA Sushil Singh, who faces 20 criminal cases.

As many as 18 SP members are facing murder charges while 61 newly elected MLAs of the party face attempt to murder charges.  Five BSP legislators face murder charges. A similar number of BSP legislators were involved in attempt-to-murder cases. Murder cases are against two BJP legislators.

Attempt-to-murder cases are pending against nine of them.
Though none of the Congress legislators have murder cases pending against them, six of them face attempt-to-murder charges.

Though all the political parties welcomed the judgment, they did admit privately that they “may run short of winnable candidates” in the forthcoming general election.

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