GUWAHATI, May 23 � The National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have urged the Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi to include only clean representatives in his Cabinet. This they did after bringing to his notice the disturbing fact that the newly-formed 16th Lok Sabha has a sizeable number of MPs, i.e., 186 (34 per cent) facing criminal charges and 112 (21 per cent) facing serious criminal charges.
�The steady increase in the number of MPs facing criminal charges over the years is a matter of grave concern to the country. While in the Lok Sabha 2004, the number of MPs facing criminal charges was 24 per cent, in Lok Sabha 2009 it had increased to 30 per cent, and in the newly-elected Lok Sabha 2014, the number has reached the mark of 34 per cent, which is 186 MPs,� it said in a letter to Modi.
In BJP alone, 98 (35 per cent) out of 281 MPs analysed by NEW and ADR have self-declared criminal cases, while 63 (22 per cent) have self-declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, dacoity, etc.
�Given Modi�s commitment to critically examine MPs with self-declared criminal cases and fast tracking cases against them, which he reiterated during the recent Lok Sabha campaign, civil society organizations are expecting that the 14th Prime Minister will provide clean and exemplary governance,� it added.
The NEW and ADR requested Modi that MPs with serious criminal cases should not be made ministers or given chairs of responsibilities in the Parliament such as in Standing Committees, Financial committees, etc. Besides, it added, any MP should not be assigned a portfolio that poses a conflict of interest with his business interests.