Atanu Dey On India's Development

Criminal Lawmakers?

According to a report in today’s Rediff on Karnataka’s new government, many of the members of the legislative assembly (or MLAs, those who make the laws of the state) are criminals. The report leads off with details of what the personal wealth of some of the MLAs are but later, almost as an afterthought, mentions that many have criminal charges pending against them:

In the tainted MLAs’ section, it is the Bharatiya Janata Party which leads the pack with 25 MLAs with a criminal record. The Congress comes second with 8 MLAs while the JD(S) has 7.

Out of the 25 MLAs in the BJP with a criminal record, seven are in the Cabinet. They are Krishnaiah Shetty, Sriramulu, Shobha Karandlage, Aravind Limbavali, S A Ravindranath, D Sudhakar (Independent) and Goolihatti Shekhar (Independent).

Among the 25 MLAs with a criminal record, three have murder or attempt to murder charges pending against them.

In the Congress, there are 8 MLAs with a criminal record, of which three have murder or attempt to murder charges pending against them.

Of the 7 MLAs in the JD(S) with a criminal record, two have murder or attempt to murder charges pending against them.

Isn’t the title of this post a contradiction in terms? How can criminals be lawmakers? Are they making laws or breaking them? Or are they “lawmakers” just so that they can get out of the reach of the arm of the law?

I just hope and pray that these MLAs got elected by fraud. Because otherwise I would be forced to face up to the reality that the criminality of these MLAs reflect the characteristics of the voters.

  • rishi

    There are criminals in every state legislature and cabinet. There were, until recently, criminals in the central government cabinet. (e.g. Shibu Soren)

    The fact that a person is a criminal does not reduce electability in any way. And until that happens, it is futile to complain about it.