Let grip of ECI tightens

The number of candidates with criminal records contesting parliamentary and assembly elections is on the rise. Not only that but the number of candidates with such criminal charges coming out successful in the polls is on the rise.
There are criminal cases against 233 MPs from all parties elected in the 2019 parliamentary elections. That is, 43 percent of MPs have a criminal record. There were criminal cases against 13 percent of the candidates who contested in the last Tamil Nadu Assembly (2021) elections. It is a matter of great concern that candidates with criminal records are contesting the elections. To curb this, the Supreme Court has already ordered political parties to advertise in the newspapers about the criminal record of candidates contesting the elections on behalf of their party. That procedure is being followed.
The Election Commission of India has issued an order directing political parties to state the reason for selecting a candidate with a criminal background and the inability to select a person with no criminal record as a candidate for the five state legislatures of Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Election Commission has tightened its grip on candidates with criminal backgrounds.
The Election Commission has also directed the respective political parties to upload on their websites the pending criminal cases against the candidates who were given the opportunity to contest the elections and the nature of the offences against them.
Political parties are required to publish information about candidates with criminal records in a regional language newspaper and a national newspaper, as well as on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. It also ordered that this information be released within 48 hours of the candidate being selected.
Yet it is certain that the major political parties, regardless of party affiliation, will provide opportunities for people with criminal backgrounds to contest in elections. Because such people are the ones who are influential and millionaires in society. It is to be welcomed that the Election Commission is now sowing the seeds for fulfilling the long-standing demand of social activists to remove candidates with criminal charges from the electoral run.
It is certain that the glory of India, the largest democracy will be lauded in the global forum only when there is a scenario that entirely eliminates such people with criminal records from contesting the elections. Will the political parties volunteer to do this good deed? That will never happen. But the Election Commission of India has the power to administer it. The Supreme Court also has.
Let that day come soon!

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