Bhubaneswar: Following the Supreme Court directive to Centre to set up special fast-track courts that will exclusively deal with the criminal cases pending against legislators and parliamentarians, 52 MLAs in Odisha were found tainted with criminal cases.
A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Odisha Election Watch (OEW) revealed that 52 (32%) MLAs out of 147 MLAs in 2014 Assembly elections have declared criminal cases against themselves.
Among the political parties in Odisha, BJD has the maximum number of MLAs with criminal cases (32) followed by Congress with 9 MLAs and BJP with 8 MLAs.
MLAs from the political parties with criminal cases:
As per the report, 32 (27%) out of 117 MLAs are from the ruling BJD with criminal cases, while 9 (56%) out of 16 MLAs are from Indian National Congress (INC) and 8 (80%) out of 10 MLAs are from BJP.
Based on the information available with OEW on sitting MLAs of the Odisha Assembly, it is seen that out of 147 MLAs whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 52 MLAs or 35% of the total MLAs had declared pending criminal cases against themselves at the time of contesting in elections held in 2014. Out of these, 41 had declared serious criminal cases like kidnapping and dacoity.
Out of total tainted MLAs with cases, 6 legislators have declared cases of crimes against women. The report revealed that the late MLA Subal Sahu of Congress from Bijepur constituency had declared a charge of rape in his affidavit.
In the list of tainted MLAs, only 1 legislator declared cases related to Prevention of Corruption Act.
Similarly, 21 Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 3(14% of total MPs from Odisha) have declared cases against themselves. Only MP from BJD has declared serious criminal cases pending which forms 5% of the total Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha. 2 MPs from BJD and 1 MP from BJP have declared criminal cases against themselves.
List of Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha with criminal cases:
Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament, too is not immune from MPs from Odisha with declared criminal cases. Out of 10 Rajya Sabha MPs from Odisha, 2 have declared criminal cases. Thus, 20% of the total Rajya Sabha MPs from Odisha have declared criminal cases against themselves.
List of Rajya Sabha MPs from Odisha with criminal cases:
Notably, none of the MPs from Odisha has declared any serious criminal cases pending against themselves.