Karnataka Polls 2018 and the Tainted Candidates
Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef 11 May 2018
As the Karnataka goes to polls, there are candidates who are acquitted of corruption, forgery, cheating and rape cases. And as per an analysis by non-governmental organization Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), BJP tops the table in terms of candidates with criminal cases against them in the May 12 assembly polls. Of its 224 candidates, 83 (37%) face criminal cases. The Congress comes in second with 59 (26%) of its 220 candidates embroiled in criminal cases. Of the 199 candidates, Janata Dal (Secular) has fielded, 41 (20%) face criminal cases.
The analysis based on affidavits filed by the candidates showed that the number of candidates with criminal cases has gone up to 391 in 2018, from 334 in the 2013 assembly elections. In all, 391 out of 2,560 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. Let’s have a look at the list of tainted candidates.
- Anand Singh- Illegal mining cases
- H.S Chandramouli, for the Madikeri Assembly seat. Chandramouli is representing PNB scam-accused Nirav Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi.
- Nagendra- Illegal mining cases
- Satish Sail - Illegal mining cases
- Yeddyurappa had floated his own party, Karnataka Janata Paksha, at the time of the previous state election after being removed as chief minister by the BJP over graft charges. The Lingayat leader, however, merged his party with the BJP in 2014.
- Katta Subramanya Naidu has faced charges of land grabbing. He has been given a ticket from the Shivajinagar constituency, was behind bars on charges of a land fraud involving his firm Itasca in 2011. The charges against him were that as a minister, he knew about an industrial project of the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Authority near Kempegowda International Airport and tried to make a windfall gain by entering into an agreement with the land losers.
- Krishnaiah Setty who will contest from Malur, was BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa's companion in jail as a co-accused in a multi-crore land scam in 2011.
- Ashok Kheny of controversial BMIC project. BMIC is a proposed 4-6 lane expressway project undertaken by the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) connecting Bengaluru and Mysuru in Karnataka.
- B Srimaulu, a key aide of Janardhan Reddy, is contesting against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Badami. G Janardhan Reddy, one-third of the Reddy brothers who enjoy tremendous influence in the Ballari region, has been charged in over 60 cases of illegal mining and spent three years in jail.
- Gali Somashekhar Reddy, younger brother of mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, is to contest from the Ballari city
- Haratalu Halappa, who has been acquitted in a rape case, to contest from the Sagar constituency. He was accused of raping his friend’s wife in Shivamogga in 2009. The court dismissed the case for want of evidence.
- M.P Renukacharya, who will be contesting the electoral battle from Honnalli, was accused of sexually harassing a nurse as a minister in the Yeddyurappa government.
- Goolihatti Shekhar, who tore his shirt in the assembly after being disqualified for cross-voting, have bagged tickets.
- H.T Suresh Babu - Illegal ore export case
The BJP scores high even when it comes to choosing candidates with serious criminal cases. A serious criminal case is one in which a convicted person gets at least a five-year jail term. Of the BJP candidates, 58 (26%) face serious criminal charges. The Congress has picked 32 candidates (15%) with serious criminal cases, while the JD(S) has picked 29 (15%) such candidates.
Both parties seem to have played it safe as they have relied on sitting and former MLAs and not shied away from fielding tainted ones. Winnability, as they see it, seems to have played a crucial role in the Congress and BJP choosing their candidates for the May 12 assembly elections. To be precise, every party’s thinking will resonate in the selection of candidates and it’s upon the voters to choose their lawmakers wisely.
By: Thamanna Abdul Latheef C
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