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The Indian Parliament was paralysed over the tainted ministers issue on Wednesday but as the BJP and Congress traded charges figures showed that every party has similar skeletons.

The Opposition attacked the government over Union Minister Shibu Soren’s conviction for murder. The interesting thing is that Lok Sabha records show that every fourth MP has a criminal record. Cases range from murder to cheating. Of the UPA’s 36 MPs with a criminal background two of whom are in jail. Fifteen are from the Congress, 10 from the RJD and five NCP MPs.

The Opposition is no better of the NDA’s 37 MPs, 26 of them are from the BJP. While the SP and BSP have 18 MPs with criminal record.

Criminal conviction

In the absence of any policy to keep them out the PM has drawn the line at criminal conviction.  “The PM’s policy is clear. If convicted no one can remain. NDA must not employ double standards,” said Prithviraj Chavan, MoS, PMO. But parties across the board say putting up candidates with a criminal background is a political compulsion. “The problem is that win ability decides who contests. If there is one criminal in fray we do exactly opposite of what we preach,” said Amar Singh, General Secretary, SP.”Win ability is the criteria. How so much may we try to keep them out,” said Arun Jaitley, BJP Spokesman.

“All parties will have to agree to amend the RPA,” said H R Bharadwaj, Law Minister.
The constitution is largely silent on the tainted issue, silent perhaps on something the constitutional fathers had never thought will happen in free democratic India.

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