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'No criminals in Cabinet, please'
Siddharth Pandey, Wednesday May 20, 2009, New Delhi

The campaign for clean politics seems to have paid off. Voters have given a thumbs down to MPs having serious criminal records cutting across party lines.

In many constituencies where one or two candidates had criminal charges, most voters rejected them. But in some seats voters didn't have a choice, as most candidates had criminal backgrounds.

That's one reason why the 15th Lok Sabha will still have MPs who have criminal cases to their names.

The BJP tops the list - 43 of its MPs have criminal cases.

The Congress comes a close second with 41 of its MPs facing criminal charges.

National Election Watch, an apolitical body striving for de-criminalisation of politics has a request for Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan SIngh.

"My message to them is to keep the criminals out of the cabinet and we have written to Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh," said Prof Jagdish Chokar, Convenor, Association for Democratic Reforms.

This is a message that's been echoed by the Indian industry as well.

"We want ministers and Cabinet ministers with integrity," said industrialist Rahul Bajaj.

And while a decisive vote will mean a stronger, more stable government, many hopes that also translates into cleaner politics.

 
 
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