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At a time when politicians cutting across party lines have come out strongly against the heinous incident of rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi, which has forced the Government to consider more stringent punishment for rapists, it turns out six legislators have admitted that they face rape cases while another 36 MLAs and two MPs face other cases related to crime against women.

Of the six MLAs, who in their sworn affidavits to the Election Commission submitted during the last election have declared that they face rape charges, three are from the Samajwadi Party — Sribhagwan Sharma, Anoop Sanda and Manoj Kumar Paras — and one each from the BSP — Mohd Aleem Khan, BJP — Jethabhai G Ahir and TDP — Kandikunta Venkata Prasad.

Among 36 MLAs, who face charges like outraging and insulting the modesty of a woman and assault, six are from the Congress, five from the BJP and three from the SP. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of eight MLAs, who have declared that they have charges of crimes against women, followed by Odisha and West Bengal with seven such MLAs each, Association of Democratic Rights said after analysing the data collected by the EC.

Even two MPs — Semmalai S of the AIADMK from Salem constituency in Tamil Nadu and Adhikari Suvendu of the Trinamool Congress from Tamluk constituency in West Bengal — have declared that they face charges of crimes against women, such as cruelty and intent to outrage a woman’s modesty etc, ADR said in a release.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s assurance on Thursday that more deterrent punishment will be given to rapists and police will be more strict in dealing with such crimes has not impressed the ADR which said that it is appalling that political parties are giving tickets to such criminals in elections.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, political parties gave tickets to six candidates who declared that they have been charged with rape, it said and pointed out that three of them were from Bihar and one each from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Thirty-four other contesting candidates faced charges of crimes against women of which maximum 9 are from Bihar followed by Maharashtra (6) and Uttar Pradesh (5).

In the Assembly polls during the past five years, 27 candidates declared that they have been charged with rape. Of these, five have been given tickets by the SP and two each by the BJP and the BSP and seven independents. Parties also gave tickets to 260 candidates who declared that they have charges of crimes against women. Out of the 260 candidates who declared that they have been charged with crimes against women, 26 were given ticket by the Congress, 24 by the BJP, 18 by the BSP and 16 by the SP.

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