Criminal choice: The Karnataka voter's unenviable position this polls

Last week, I delved into the asset comparison of the 179 MLAs who are re-contesting the upcoming elections in Karnataka. Carrying that piece forward, let us put a few more metrics under the scanner, and see what jumps out and scandalizes us further.

Is there really anything to differentiate between the two parties? Reuters

Is there really anything to differentiate between the two parties? Reuters

The data being presented and referred to in this write-up is courtesy Karnataka Election Watch (KEW), which has analyzed self-sworn affidavits of 1052 out of the 2948 candidates contesting in the Karnataka 2013 State Assembly Elections.

The goons are back in town: When garbage is poured down the electoral funnel, how does one expect anything other than garbage to flow out the business end of the electoral funnel?

The table below sheds some light on what is going into the electoral funnel:

Table 1

Pot. Kettle. Black. And allthatjazz. So this is the potential mix of lawmakers?!! Let me now focus on those who have declared serious criminal charges:

Table 2

18 MLAs [out of those who have declared serious criminal charges] have proudly declared that they have cases under Prevention of Corruption Act against their names. One also notes with a certain trepidation and disgust, that there are a couple of candidates who have declared rape charges as well! As is my wont, I will now digress and mention in passing - quite deliberately so - that when the Criminal Law Amendment Bill was being discussed and voted on, only 196 MPs were present in the House of People. The nation did indeed witness the quality of debate in the Lok Sabha on 19th March, 2013.…and it also noticed that many doyens from the anarchist monarchist dynastic despotic oligarchic political landscape, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were missing! And sorry about that confusion there – I think I got it right the sixth time around.

Just for a lark, and on a whim, I decided to waste a few precious moments of my life counting the total number of IPC counts [serious criminal charges] that some of these enterprising ruffians who are contesting the Karnataka elections have declared……323!

Are all 323 politically motivated cases? Double-distilled gobbledygook and unadulterated poppycock!

We don’t need no education: How about educational qualifications? Whilst it is nobody’s case that educational qualifications are a sine qua non for cleaner politics, better lawmaking and more intelligent policy decisions, it would sure help if the chart did NOT look like THIS….

Table 3

Gender Bender: How do the parties fare when giving women candidates a token representation in their respective list of candidates? Take a look….

Table 4

** Even last week, it had crashed – for different reasons. See here.

From the frying PAN into the fire? Not for these worthies: Ok, now that we know that all parties largely prefer Richie-Rich, male candidates who have some feathers in their caps in terms of criminal charges and lack of educational qualifications, let us now see if they have at least bothered declaring the PAN details:

Table 5

As if that is not alarming enough, here is the asset break-up of 6 out of these 142 contestants who have not declared their PAN:

Table 6

For those of you, who would like to go through the detailed source report/data referred to in this piece, write in to me at, and I will be glad to mail across the copy.

Ending on a lighter note: I read this joke in the Introduction to Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, which I am sharing with you: Two nouveaux rich oligarchs are chatting. Oligarch A shows Oligarch B a new tie he has bought from Gucci.

“How much did it cost?” asks Oligarch B. “$1000” replies Oligarch A.

Oligarch B replies with amazement, “$1000? A rip-off! In that shop over there, you can buy the same tie for $2000!”

Is that what happens when a bunch of alleged dregs and enterprising ruffians are given control of the exchequer? I wonder…..

Updated Date: May 03, 2013 18:33 PM

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