News / Asia

In World's Largest Democracy, More Lawmakers Charged With Crime

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (C), India's prime minister-elect from the Bharatiya Janata Party, performs a religious ritual on the banks of river Ganges at Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, May 17, 2014.
Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (C), India's prime minister-elect from the Bharatiya Janata Party, performs a religious ritual on the banks of river Ganges at Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, May 17, 2014.
Reuters
More legislators charged with crimes will sit in India's new parliament than previously, a democracy watchdog said on Sunday, in a reminder that crime still pays in the world's largest democracy.

Prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, who made fighting graft a central plank of his victorious campaign, won a stunning mandate to govern India by claiming the first clear majority in three decades.

But many of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colleagues elected to the new parliament faces serious criminal charges. Four out of the nine legislators who face murder cases come from his party.

Thirty-four percent of the winners in India's election have criminal cases pending against them, four percentage points more than in 2009, analysis of the candidates affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms found.

Of that, 21 percent were charged with serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, up from 15 percent in the last election, the group said.

In India, political parties are more likely to field criminals who are able to pay their own way. Election expenses have soared, with as much as $5 billion estimated to have been spent in this election.

Moreover, criminals are often winners, with voters choosing candidates they think will take care of their parochial interests when the state isn't able to, analysts say.

Criminals who have easy access to liquid forms of financing can see politics as a lucrative career.

"Many of these deep-pocketed candidates view the money they must spend on elections ... as a down payment on an investment that offers serious returns," Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote in a recent commentary.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Varun from: Houston
May 18, 2014 10:55 PM
Where were these news writers only 3 or 4 days ago with these news headlines? Did the Indian political landscape just change suddenly overnight and became 'corrupt'? Why did they NOT report on the corruption of hundreds of $$ Millions of the congress officials? Or are they politically aligned with loosers of Congress party - and only SORE LOOOOOOSERS!

by: Venkat from: Los Angeles
May 18, 2014 1:35 PM
"....political parties are more likely to field criminals who are able to pay their own way" - it would be helpful to substantiate the statement with data. Also helpful will be comparing this stat with other democracies.

by: Running amok from: Boston
May 18, 2014 11:36 AM
"More legislators charged with crimes will sit in India's new parliament than previously, a democracy watchdog said on Sunday"
Who is this watch dog and what is their agenda and forYahoo at this time, I do not know but Indians electing a corruption free Narendra Modi (who happens to be a staunch Hindu ) should be a welcome news for the Western media and Yahoo . You have to understand why the Congress Party was kicked out of power. The Congress Party of Nehru in the 1950s had very few corruption scandals .Then in the 1970s India started seeing more corrupt politicians during the Congress Party administrations and the regional parties in Tamil Nadu and Andhra and other states adopting that as their policy. the only exception in those days were probably Communist Party administrations of Kerala and West Bengal( in the 1960s and 1970s)
It is not surprising that the same corrupt politicians started committing other crimes, this is true for all parties including the Congress and the regional parties of India People continued to elect them. Corruption and criminal politicians were accepted as a way of life. Several recent leading cabinet members of the leaving Congress Party were corrupt, in spite of their Western education.ter). The new generation of Indians would not put up with that. Narendra Modi is an exception and hope for the future. If he fails, the only option left for India will be an authoritarian government or military rule. May be the Watch dog and Yahoo will prefer that over Modi.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs