Parties should keep out criminals and those with corrupt backgrounds, says TDP president
Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court judgment on immediate disqualification of convicted MPs and MLAs as “historic” and wanted all political parties to keep out those with criminal and corrupt backgrounds.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Naidu said it was unfortunate that the Supreme Court had to step in to declare a much- abused provision as unconstitutional.
In an ideal situation, the government of the day should have introduced such electoral reforms that would make it difficult for those facing criminal and corruption charges to contest elections.
He recalled how it was Supreme Court and other courts that ensured inquiries and action in a series of cases including 2G spectrum and Commonwealth Games scams, Coalgate, Jagan assets and Obulapuram Iron Ore Mines.
All these have happened in Congress rule, but the governments were reluctant to take action.
Mr. Naidu said the wealth created by economic reforms was not reaching the poor as selfish politicians were taking advantage of loopholes in the system and knocking away the benefits and using the money to win in elections.
“Money earned through quid pro quo deals and investment made through the hawala route was also being used to earn legitimacy through elections, some even while being in jail. This vicious cycle has to be broken and the Supreme Court order is a good augury that will pave the way for cleansing the system.”
To a question if he favoured age of retirement for politicians, he said there was a difference of opinion. There was a view that it was like private service and there cannot be an age of retirement, while in US, leaders were contesting even at the age of 75.
“At the same time, I agree that young blood should be given preference and there is no second opinion over it.”