As many as 19 out of 68 Congress MLAs in newly elected 90-seat Chhattisgarh Assembly have criminal cases against them.
The Chhattisgarh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) issued a report in which it stated that 24 (27 per cent) of the 90 newly elected representatives have declared in their election affidavits that they are facing criminal cases. Out of these, 19 belong to the Congress and three are legislators of the BJP while two are from the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J).
State Chief of Congress Bhupesh Baghel, who is been elected from Patan, has declared that he is facing charges of “voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty” (IPC section 332), and criminal conspiracy (IPC section 120 B), among others. Another Congress leader, Ashish Kumar Chhabra, elected from Bemetara, has declared that he is facing a case related to attempt to murder. JCC(J)’s Pramod Kumar Sharma, who won from Balodabazar seat, has declared a case related to”causing death by negligence” (IPC section 304A).
The report states that 13 of the total 24 MLAs are facing serious charges of offence such as assault and criminal intimidation. With this assembly election in Chhattisgarh, there has been an astounding rise of about 60% in the election of offenders to the assembly. In 2013, 15 MLAs had declared that they were facing criminal charges.
Earlier, videos of now Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath had surfaced in which he was seen supporting the fielding of Congress candidates with the criminal background if they were able to win elections. He had shown little regard to the criminal activities of those candidates. It appears that Congress has been ruthlessly working on this principle in letter and spirit across the country.