Forty-five MLAs and three MPs have declared that they are accused of committing crimes against women, the Association for Democratic Reforms said in a report published on Thursday. The charges include assaulting women with the intent to outrage her modesty, kidnapping, rape, domestic violence and trafficking.
This is three fewer than the number the Delhi-based think-tank announced in its August 2017 report.
Twelve of the 48 lawmakers belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party, followed by seven from the Shiv Sena and six from the Trinamool Congress. The Association for Democratic Reforms came up with the report after analysing 4,845 of 4,896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. Maharashtra has the highest number of such lawmakers (12), followed by West Bengal (11).
“All major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crime against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens,” the report said. “These are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognisance have been taken by the courts. Hence, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament.”
In the last five years, political parties have given tickets to 327 candidates accused of committing crimes against women. Of them, 47 have fought elections on BJP tickets while 35 got tickets from the Bahujan Samaj Party, and 24 from the Congress.
Last year, the Election Commission told the Supreme Court that it supported the idea of disallowing convicts from contesting elections for life and barring their entry into the judiciary and legislatures.
The ADR report comes at a time of widespread protests against an increase in crimes against women. In the past few days, people across the country have demonstrated against rape in Kathua and Unnao.
In the Unnao case, a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh – Kuldeep Singh Sengar – is accused of raping a teenager in June 2017. In Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, eight people are accused of abducting, sedating, repeatedly raping and murdering an eight-year-old in January.