The Times of India
Himanshi Dhawan

NEW DELHI: Law-makers who have been shedding tears over the Delhi gang rape do not match their words with action. While MPs and MLAs of all political hues demanded death penalty for the accused, data analyzed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows that two Lok Sabha MPs have charges of domestic violence, forcibly abducting women and assaulting a woman pending against them.

S Semmalai of AIADMK has criminal charges, including attempt to murder and domestic violence, against him while Suvendu Adhikari of Trinamool Congress has declared that he faces charges of using criminal force to outrage a woman's modesty, abduction in order to murder and a case of attempt to murder against him.

For the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, political parties unabashedly gave tickets to six candidates who admitted before the Election Commission that they had rape charges against them. These included three from Bihar, one each from Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Around 34 candidates admitted that they had charges of crime against women.

Demanding that political parties should stop giving tickets to candidates with criminal backgrounds, ADR said MPs with criminal records had increased from 128 in 2004 to 162 in 2009. Their criminal offences had become more heinous too, including murder, rape and dacoity.

The trend is prevalent in state elections also. Six legislators face rape charges while 36 have other cases related to crimes against women including outraging a woman's modesty, abducting or illegally confining a woman, selling a minor for prostitution and even domestic violence.

Of the six MLAs with declared rape cases, three are from Samajwadi Party -- Sribhagwan Sharma, Anoop Sanda and Manoj Kumar Paras. The others are Mohammed Aleem Khan of BSP, Jethabhai G Ahir of BJP and Kandikunta Venkata Prasad of TDP. Of the 36 MLAs who declared that they have charges of crimes against women, six are from Congress, five from BJP and three from SP.

Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of MLAs (8) who have declared that they have charges of crimes against women, followed by Odisha and West Bengal with seven MLAs each.

Political parties gave tickets to 27 candidates, contesting state elections in the last five years, who declared that they were charged with rape. Of these, seven were independent candidates, five from SP, two from BJP, two from BSP and one from Congress. Of these 27 candidates, 10 were from Uttar Pradesh and five from Bihar.

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