VIJAYAWADA: Though the details of the criminal background of Andhra Pradesh MPs and MLAs are not on the official websites of their respective political parties, as per data, about 55 of the State’s 175 MLAs face serious criminal cases.
This figure was arrived at from an analysis of the affidavits they submitted when filing nominations for the polls last April. Officials of the Election Commission refused to provide consolidated data on the criminal backgrounds of elected leaders from the State.
As per a report analysed by the Andhra Pradesh Election Watch (APEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 50 of the YSRC’s 150 MLAs (the affidavit of one MLA was not analysed), four of the TDP’s 23 MLAs, and one Jana Sena MLA have declared “serious” criminal cases. Eight of these 55 MLAs have been convicted.
YSRC MLA Ambati Rambabu said that all leaders facing criminal cases have mentioned them when filing nominations, and those facing trial should not be considered criminals until the charges are proven.
TDP general secretary Varla Ramaiah, meanwhile, said, "A person (CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy) who is facing trial in 11 cases filed by CBI and five by the ED is at the helm of affairs. It is unfortunate and a debate must be held in Parliament on such persons running the administration."
Why they were booked
While one of the MLAs declared a case related to murder, 10 others declared cases related to attempts to murder. As many as six MLAs declared cases related to crimes against women, and seven MLAs declared cases related to kidnapping. Both the YSRC and the TDP said they welcome the Supreme Court’s directive for the criminal antecede-nts of candidates to be on the party website