All legislators of Bihar Assembly have been asked to declare in writing that they have nothing to do with crime. They have been advised to write such messages on boards outside their homes.

The advice has come from none other than Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha.

“We all legislators will put up formal boards outside our houses, declaring that we have nothing to do with crime, our families are free of any addiction, we do not support child marriages, do not support dowry system and child labour,” Sinha said while addressing the centenary celebrations of Bihar Assembly on Sunday.

He added they would launch intense campaigns to free society of these five social evils and would work for checking sharp fall in values. He said the campaigns would continue throughout the year. He appealed to the lawmakers to create such an environment so that people’s faith in democracy can be restored.

The Speaker’s move to put up boards by legislators to publicly reject links with crime is in sharp contrast to the reports of election watchdogs Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Election Watch. According to the latest report of ADR and Election Watch, at least 68 per cent of newly-elected legislators in the Bihar Assembly have criminal cases against them ~ an increase of 10 per cent as compared to 2015 Assembly polls.

As per the report, the total number of legislators with criminal records against them is 163 in 243-member Assembly. In the previous House, 142 lawmakers faced criminal charges. A maximum of 73 per cent such lawmakers belong to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) followed by 64 per cent of the BJP, 47 per cent of the Janata Dal United (JD-U). The Congress has only 17 per cent of such lawmakers.

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