New Delhi
The common perception in India is that politics is the natural culmination of the career of a veteran criminal. The bigger your crime record, better is the probability of your success as a politician.
An analysis of data on Lok Sabha members facing criminal charges and official figures on crime in India strengthens the perception. 
According to the study, one in every 30 MPs elected in the 2009 general elections was facing charges of murder or related charges. On the other hand, in the populace at large, there was at worst one person per 1,061 of the same age group (aged 25 and above) facing investigations or trials for murder in 2009.
Out of 543 MPs, 162 have criminal cases pending against them. It means that 30 percent of Lok Sabha MPs have criminal record. 
The study suggests that out of 4,807 MPs and MLAs in India, a whooping 1, 460 have criminal records pending against them. Here again, around 30 percent of Indian lawmakers have a criminal record.
Out of these 1, 460 lawmakers, 688 have serious criminal cases pending against them. 
Ironically, MPs also convincingly outdid average Indians in kidnapping/abduction and dacoity/robbery cases. In 2009, one in every 54 MPs was facing investigation or trial for kidnapping/abduction or dacoity/robbery. 
The corresponding figures for the general population was one kidnapping/abduction case per 5,510 people and one dacoity/robbery case per 3,832. 
When it comes to riots too, our MPs clearly stand out from the crowd. Compared to one case for every 1,436 Indians, the figure for the Lok Sabha was one in every 54. The honourable exception to this otherwise depressing pattern is rape, where the ADR data indicates that there was no pending rape case against any of the MPs elected in 2009. 
A state wise analysis throws very interesting figure. As expected, UP, Bihar and Jharkhand are clear leaders as far as criminalization of politics is concerned.
In UP, 47 percent of MLAs have criminal cases pending against them. In Bihar, 58 percent of MLAs are facing criminal cases and the adjoining Jharkhand has left both UP and Bihar far behind as far as criminalization of politics is concerned. In Jharkhand, a massive 74 percent of MLAs have criminal cases pending against them. 
The party wise finding is also an eye opener and it seems all parties are vying with each other as far as inducting leaders with criminal records is concerned.
Here again, the honour of leading the table goes to the ruling party of Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). A whopping 82 percent of JMM MLAs and MPs are facing criminal cases. 
Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is the runner-up as 64 percent of its MPs and MLAs have criminal cases pending against them. 
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party is at the third position with 48 percent of its MPs and MLAs having criminal cases pending against them.
It's not that this malaise affects regional parties only. In fact, the national parties are not far behind in sharing the honours.
Thirty-one percent MPs and MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party with difference, are facing criminal cases against them.
On the other hand, the record of Congress party, the oldest political formation that boasts of leaders like Gandhi, Nehru and Subhash Bose, is equally disturbing. According to findings, 21 percent of Congress MPs and MLAs have criminal cases registered against them. 
These findings clearly indicate that political parties in India may publically talk about being concerned over the increasing criminalization of politics but in reality they are responsible for abetting this trend.
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