New Delhi: As people’s representatives are set to elect a new president soon, data compiled by a think tank shows nearly a third of the electoral college which will vote in the 19 July poll have criminal cases like attempt to murder, kidnapping and theft, pending against them.
The electoral college that elects the president consists of elected members of parliament (MPs) – of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha – and members of legislative assemblies (MLAs) from all states.
According to data collected by think tank National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Research, of a total 4,835 MPs and MLAs who will be voting in this election, 1,448 have in their own election affidavits declared that criminal cases are pending against them.
These tainted MPs and MLAs represent nearly 31 percent of the vote share.
Uttar Pradesh leads in term of number of votes represented by tainted leaders, with 189 MPs and MLAs being tainted. They represent nearly 47 percent of the state’s voters.
Maharashtra comes second, with 146 MPs and MLAs with criminal background, having nearly 51 percent of the state’s voter percentage behind them.
Bihar comes third with 139 tainted representatives in the electoral college, accounting for 58 percent of the state’s vote share.
The criminal charges against these tainted MPs and MLAs range from attempt to murder, theft, kidnapping, dacoity, and a few even stand accused of rape.
Interestingly, crime is not the only phenomenon marking out the electoral college. More than half of the electoral college consists of crorepatis (Rs 10 million).
Uttar Pradesh again has the highest number of crorepati or millionaire MPs and MLAs at 271. They represent 67 percent of the votes from the state.
Women representation in the electoral college, meanwhile, remains dismayingly low at a mere nine percent.