157 MPs, MLAs in the dock for poll norm violations

In hot waters

Over 150 MPs and MLAs, elected since 2008, have cases of electoral offences registered against them. The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are topping the list, facing a total of 70 such cases.

According to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) released on Monday, 30 sitting MPs and 127 MLAs have declared in their electoral affidavits about the electoral offences they have committed.
Of the 30 MPs, only two are from the Rajya Sabha.

The Congress has 36 such lawmakers, including seven MPs, followed by the BJP 34, including nine MPs. The Janata Dal-United came third with 16 (two MPs) followed by Samajwadi Party 13 (three), Rashtriya Janata Dal seven (two), AIADMK 5 (one) and the Bahujan Samaj Party five (all MLAs).

Among the states, Bihar tops the chart with 41 accused lawmakers, followed by Uttar Pradesh 29, Karnataka 20, Jharkhand 12 and Andhra Pradesh 10. The ADR and NEW said they strongly recommend that candidates who contest elections should display the kind of responsible behaviour and conduct that upholds the integrity and value of free and fair elections.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Varun Gandhi are the prominent names among the tainted MPs in the list, which also has the names of three MPs—Angadi Suresh and Katti Ramesh Vishwanath (both BJP) and N Dharam Singh (Congress)—from Karnataka. 

K Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana Rashtra Samiti) is another party chief who is in the list.
Rajnath was charged with violating Sections 123 and 125 of Representation of the People Act, which deals with corrupt practices in elections like inducing voters and promoting enmity between communities, while Varun Gandhi is accused of promoting enmity between communities.

Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan are among the prominent MLAs who have such cases against them. Naidu faces a case for violating provisions of ban on campaigning in the last 48 hours before an election while Khan faces charges of promoting enmity between classes in connection with election.

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