Indian Political Parties - Fatal attraction to criminals
We all know how much committed out political parties are as regards keeping criminal elements away from politics. I would like to present only one example to show up to what disgusting and filthy levels our politics has reached in today's world. Is it necessary that we support these people, who more often than not, look highly stinking and obnoxious? There is a Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh by the name of Sultanpur. It is adjacent to the Lok Sabha constituencies of Amethi and Raibareilly represented by Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi respectively. The Lok Sabha member from this Constituency presently is Mohammad Tahir Khan from BSP. His name had also cropped in the Human Trafficking scam in which a BJP MP along with others was arrested. Due to various reasons, the party felt that it was not proper to field him again and it searched for a newer candidate. The new person the party found out is Mohammad Rizwan aka Pappu, who at the moment is the declared candidate of the BSP for Lok sabha elections for Sultanpur seat. Having gone through the history of the two, all one could be able to say is that this must have been a typical example of choosing between the devil and the sea. Interestingly while Tahir Khan has 5 cases registered against him, his to-be successor has 9 cases of serious nature registered against his name only in the City police station of Sultanpur. This includes crimes like section 13 of the UP Goonda Act (case crime no- 581/87 in which a Charge sheet was later submitted), section 2/3 of the UP Gangster Act (which is considered the symbol of the most serious level of criminal activities in the State) with crime no- 41/90 and one case of attempt to murder (section 307) and murder (section 302) each. The murder case was that related to that a Recruit constable Kasmlesh Kumar of the Khairaghat police station in Sultanpur. Not only this, this would-be Member of Parliament has been booked thrice under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with Obscene acts and songs. The relevant provisions of the IPC are- Whoever, to the annoyance of others-(a) Does any obscene act in any public place, or (b) Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, balled or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both. Thus our future Member of Parliament has been deemed a person fit to be charged under this section not once or twice but three times. The story does not end here. Mohammad Rizwan also has two cases of rape (one with abduction) registered against him. The first is case crime no 1007/91 under sections 363, 366 and 376 IPC and the second one is case crime no 434/95 under sections 354, 376, 506 and 323 IPC. What is even more intriguing, baffling and saddening is that the second case deals with rape of a woman X (resident of police station Lambhua in Sultanpur) who herself belongs to the Scheduled Caste. That too when the BSP considers itself a party that specifically safeguards the interests of the Dalits. The other rape case was allegedly committed in a hotel near the Roadways station in Sultanpur where a young lady from Borovilli, Mumbai was duped, abducted and raped. She belonged to the Brahmin caste, the other caste the BSP has been wooing for the last few years and which has played an important role in the party gaining a clear majority in the 2007 UP state elections. Because of these "brave" and "illustrious" acts of this person, the local police had branded him as a History Sheeter (HS) and his name was placed at HS No- 3 (Class A) of the Kotwali police station. If things remain favourable to Md Rizwan, of which there is a good enough chance (he being a Muslim and Sultanpur being a Muslim dominated constituency, along with the traditional Dalit "vote-bank") then we would have one more honourable Member of Parliament who has every such achievement that this post so much requires- half a dozen or more criminal cases, a few of them being more serious ones like attempt to murder and murder, a coloured Police record and loads of money (which Rizwan alias Pappu has in plenty). If you ask the person about his police records and the spate of crimes he has been charge with, he invariably comes with the set answer- "These are all politically motivated. I have been innocent all through." And the situation of the justice delivering system being what it is, there is always a greater possibility of the accused getting acquitted during trial because of so many factors like money, muscle power, political patronage, poor economic conditions of the victim's side etc. At the same time, the party which is supporting such persons has another standard format for itself- "He might have been a criminal previously, but now he is a completely transformed person. And whatever is left, will get cleansed when he has joined us". As if these political parties were the present day Avatar of Bhagirathi river which had the special powers of cleansing all the evils and ills existing so far. One thing I fail to understand is, why do these political parties always go for people who are already in the dark or the gray region. Do they not like associating with people who have so far been having clear records and decent public perceptions. Can't any of them take an Arun Bhatia (the ex-Municipal Commissioner of Pune), a person with excellent track record and huge public regards? And as if it needed a tit for a tat, the Samajwadi Party, the arch-rival of the BSP, only yesterday announced the candidature of Sanjay Dutt from Lucknow, the constituency till now occupied by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As we all know, Sanjay Dutt has not only been accused and has spend many months behind the prison but is also is a convict in the most infamous and notorious Arms case in the midst of the Mumbai blasts. But does it really matter? He is a film star and a popular one and that is all really matters. Isn't this the sad story of Indian democracy?
Dr Nutan Thakur Editor, Nutan Satta Pravah, Lucknow
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