By Amlan J Das
The deep and murky connection between politics, crime and money in this country is rather well known today. Time and again there have been numerous attempts to make politics free of criminal influence. A background check of candidates contesting elections to expose any possible criminal connections is one way in which we can try and change the dismal state of politics in India.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) recently posted the criminal and financial details of contesting candidates for the first two phases of the Lok Sabha Elections 2014. The north-eastern states of Assam, Tripura Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland go to the polls in the first two phases.
At least six of the sixty-four candidates vying for six seats, including five in Assam and one in Tripura in the first phase of polls, have criminal cases pending against them. Charges pending against the candidates vary from serious criminal cases- including attempts to murder and rape. According to the ADR, 51 candidates fighting for five seats in Assam have three criminal cases each pending against them. Interestingly, five candidates fielded by the AGP also have criminal records.
So here is a brief look at some of the candidates with Criminal Records from the region
Moni Kumar Subba
He has been a very controversial person in Assam politics. The sitting MP from Tezpur Constituency in Assam, he decided to leave the Congress party after being denied a ticket, and is contesting this election as an independent.
The major controversy he became embroiled was the issue of his nationality. Sometime back in 2009 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court that he is not an Indian citizen and has forged his documents. He still has a charge of forgery for purpose of cheating (IPC Section-468) against him. Additionally, there is another charge related this(IPC Section-471).
Furthermore, he also has a pending case of rape against him (IPC Section-376) filed at the Chandmari Police Station of Guwahati. As expected, the case has been continually delayed and he is unlikely to be convicted.
Additionally he also happens to be a candidate of suspicious financial background with declared assets of more than Rs 306 cr. And the irony being he announced that he is contesting elections because he believes he is a poor persons’ candidate and that the poor have asked him to contest elections.
Bhowmik happens to be a candidate from Tripura West constituency in Tripura, and happens to have the highest – four – counts of serious IPC charges against him, each being a murder case. He even has a charge related to rioting with a deadly weapon, under Section-148 of the IPC. However, he has not been convicted in any of these cases.
He is an Asom Gana Parishad party candidate from Lakhimpur constituency in Assam. He is accused in an attempt to wage war against the Government of India. He is also charged with conspiracy and collection of arms, with the intention of waging war against the Government of India, under IPC sections 121A and 122.
Among all the various criminal charges against candidates from the region, independent candidate Subu Kechi from Arunachal West Constituency has the most modest of all charges. He has one charge related to Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees under section 427 of the IPC. Now this might be a difficult case to prove, but surely speaks volumes about the candidate.