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SC Order on Candidates with Criminal Cases 'Already Torn to Shreds' by PM, Alleges Congress

PTI

Last Updated: February 13, 2020, 21:24 IST

A file photo of the Supreme Court.

A file photo of the Supreme Court.

The appointment of Anand Singh, an accused in mining cases, as a minister in the BJP-led Cabinet in Karnataka shows that PM Narendra Modi has violated the court's advisory, said the party.

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday attacked the BJP utilising the Supreme Court order on decriminalisation of politics, alleging the directions have already been torn to shreds by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Anand Singh, who is an accused in mining cases, has been appointed a minister in Karnataka.

The Congress welcomed the court direction asking all parties to upload on their website details of pending criminal cases against candidates contesting polls, noting there has been an alarming increase in criminalisation of politics. Political parties will also have to upload the reasons for selecting candidates who have criminal cases pending against them.

"Today itself, Modiji has torn to shreds the SC orders on citing reasons for giving tickets to leaders accused in cases," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet, tagging a news report about Singh, an accused in mining and forest crime cases, being appointed as the new minister for forest, environment and ecology in Karnataka.

"Modi ji 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 PM and Karnataka CM," Surjewala asked.

The BJP on its part said the SC direction would strengthen electoral democracy in the country and enable voters make a choice keeping "all factors" in mind when they cast their vote.

Another Congress spokesperson, Jaiveer Shergill, said that his party welcomes the court's decision as it's an important step towards decriminalising politics.

"The Congress welcomes the historic verdict of the Supreme Court towards decriminalisation of politics and making politics free from crime and criminals. The judgment of Supreme Court is vindication of Rahul Gandhi's fight against criminalisation of politics. It is vindication of Rahul Gandhi's stand to make politics free from crime and criminals," he said.

Shergill said the BJP has appointed Singh as a minister in Karnataka despite 15 corruption cases pending against him. "The BJP believes in politics of crime and criminals and not in clean and clear politic. Appointment of Anand Singh as Karnataka minister proves the BJP's goal is to criminalise politics. The BJP is a comfortable shelterhome for MP/MLAs with criminal antecedents," he alleged.

It is a stamp of approval of the Bellary mine scam going on in Karnataka by none other than the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shergill alleged.

"The Prime Minister is in violation of the advisory of the Supreme Court not to induct any minister facing serious charges of crime or having faced a charge sheet or charge sheet in the trial court," he said. "Is it not true that a charge sheet has been filed against Anand Singh? Is it not true that he is wanted and being tried in 15 cases?"

The Congress leader alleged that 42% of BJP candidates have criminal cases pending against them and many of their candidates contesting elections face cases of serious nature including murder and kidnapping.

Shergill said the BJP should officially change its name from Bharatiya Janata Party to Nathuram Godse Party.