An organisation that is trying to prevent people with criminal charges against them from contesting the coming general elections has started with a look at the sitting lawmakers.
Of the 543 Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, 123 or 24 per cent are criminals.
Giving a state-wise breakup, the National Election Watch, which has tied up with activists and concerned citizens to launch a campaign and website (nocriminals.org) with details of MPs and contestants with criminal backgrounds, said among large states, Maharashtra and Bihar led the table with 40 per cent of the MPs from these states having some criminal charge against them.
While 19 of Maharashtra's 48 MPs have criminal antecedents, of Bihar's 40 MPs 16 have a criminal record. India's largest state Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 MPs, comes in second
with 29 per cent.
Among the mid sized and large states, Assam is the cleanest with none of the 14 MPs having any criminal charge against them.
Giving a party wise break up, the NEW statistics showed the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party were the worst. 11 MPs each of the RJD's 24 MPs (46 %) and SP's 36 MPs (31 %) face criminal charges. The Bahujan Samaj Party has 19 MPs of which 8 are tainted (42 %).
Among the Big Three, the Bharatiya Janata Party fared the worst, with 29 of its 138 being tainted (21 %). 26 of the Congress's 145 MPs (18 %) have criminal cases and 7 of the 43 Communist Party of India-Marxist MPs (16 %) have cases against them.
Among parties that have MPs in the double digits, Biju Janata Dal is the cleanest, the statistics showed, with only one of its 11 MPs having criminal cases against him.