BJP has elevated tainted leaders: Congress

Party points to Karnataka Minister

Welcoming a Supreme Court order directing parties to upload online the details of pending criminal cases against their electoral candidates, the Congress on Thursday accused the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of going against the ruling.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted a news report on Anand Singh, who is accused in mining and forest crimes, being appointed the new Minister for forest, environment and ecology in Karnataka.

“Modi ji & BJP again come to the rescue of ‘Bellary Gang’! SC says give reasons for giving tickets to tainted Netas... Modiji says make tainted netas not MLAs alone but Ministers of the ministry, which has been allegedly looted! Will SC issue contempt of [court] against PM and Karnataka CM?” he asked.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court asked all political parties to upload on their website details of pending cases against candidates contesting polls and the reasons for selecting persons with pending criminal cases.

At an official party briefing, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill pointed out that on August 27, 2014, the Supreme Court had issued an advisory not to include any person facing charges of serious offences.

“The Prime Minister is in violation of the advisory of the Hon’ble Supreme Court not to induct any Minister facing serious charges of crime or having a chargesheet in the trial court. Is it not true that a chargesheet has been filed against Shri Anand Singh?” he asked.

When it was pointed out that Mr. Singh was in the Congress before defecting to the BJP, Mr. Shergill said, “Indian National Congress’ statistics and data shows that INC is on the path of neat and clean politics and the BJP is on the path of crime and criminal politics.”

Opinions, however, were divided over the top court’s latest order, with some senior leaders questioning certain aspects of the judgment.

“The Courts decision, despite its lofty motivations, is yet another instance of judicial foray in matters essentially political. The objection on principle is to the Court treating the accused persons at par with those finally convicted as far as their public and political standing is concerned,” former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said.

“The Supreme Court has not defined what crimes. Can a person be debarred from contesting if he was arrested for participating in a political agitation,” D. Raja, CPI general secretary, told The Hindu and added that the order needs to be studied before making a detailed comment.

“But from what little I know, when a candidate files his nomination papers he has to declare his criminal records. The Election Commission, which is an independent body can reject the nomination, if it wishes so,” Mr. Raja added.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:22:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bjp-has-elevated-tainted-leaders-congress/article30813660.ece

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