New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Welcoming the Supreme Court order for decriminalisation of politics and the direction to political parties to upload online details of pending criminal cases against candidates, the Congress here on Thursday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for appointing a tainted politician as Minister in Karnataka.
The directive had been torn to shreds by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it added.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court asked political parties to upload on their websites details of pending criminal cases against poll candidates, citing the alarming rise in criminalisation of politics in past four general elections.
A Bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman said the political parties would have to clarify reasons for selecting candidates with pending criminal cases and upload the information on their websites. They would also have to submit compliance report to the Election Commission within 72 hours of selection of candidates with pending criminal cases.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress national media in-charge, tweeted, “Today itself, Modiji has torn to shreds the orders of giving reasons for giving tickets to leaders accused in cases.
“Modiji and the BJP again come to the rescue of ‘Bellary Gang’! SC says give reasons for giving tickets to tainted Netas or contempt! Modiji says make tainted Netas not MLAs alone but Ministers of the ministry, which has been allegedly looted! Will SC issue contempt of Prime Minister and Karnataka CM?”
Surjewala also attached a news report on Anand Singh, a former Congress leader who joined the BJP last year and is accused in mining and forest cases, being appointed the Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology.
Later, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, “The Congress welcomes the Supreme Court’s historic verdict towards decriminalisation of politics, towards making politics free from crime and criminals.”
He said the order was vindication of Rahul Gandhi’s fight against criminalisation of politics. “It’s vindication of Rahul Gandhi’s stand to make politics free from crime and criminals,” he said.
Slamming the BJP for Singh’s appointment as Minister in Karnataka, Shergill said, “As this historic judgment has come, the BJP has appointed Anand Singh as Minister, despite there being 15 cases of corruption against him.”
Singh’s appointment was a stamp of approval of the Bellary Mine scam in Karnataka by none other than the Prime Minister of the country and the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Citing data, Shergill said, “According to a report by a reputed firm 42 per cent of the BJP candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls had criminal cases pending against them.”
In the 17th Lok Sabha, 106 MPs had pending cases of serious crimes, like murder, kidnapping, against them. “Of this 106 MPs, 92 are from the BJP,” he said.