Don’t vote for parties with criminal candidates: victims’ mothers

May 7th, 2009 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Mothers of crime victims in the capital Thursday urged people not to vote for the parties which have fielded candidates with criminal record.
Many mothers of victims exercised their franchise but a dejected Savita Ghosh, whose daughter Jigisha, a young IT executive, was murdered in March, refused to vote, saying there was nobody to vote for who would guarantee protection from crime in Delhi.

“I don’t cast my vote. To whom I should vote? There is no meaning in giving vote. There is no security …no electricity…,” said Savita Ghosh, who has been fighting to get justice in her daughter’s murder case.

Neelam Katara, who won national fame for her fight against the alleged killers of her son, 24-year-old Nitish murdered in February 2002, cast her vote at a polling booth of New Delhi constituency but said candidates with criminal records should be boycotted.

“Let the party be punished for the sin they have committed by giving ticket to a criminal and I sincerely appeal to all the citizens of the country not to vote for the party whosoever it is,” Neelam said.

Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, and his cousin Vishal Yadav have been found guilty of Nitish’s murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court last year.

“After getting elected, all the parliamentarians will come and stay in Delhi only, so it is us who is going to get affected. Our life will be in danger,” Neelam said.

Neelam Krishnamurthy, convener of Association of Victims of Uphaar Fire Tragedy (AVUT), seconded Katara’s remark, as she voted at a booth in South Delhi constituency with her husband.

“We should not vote for criminals who will do more harm to us, forget about good,” said Krishnamurthy who lost her two kids in the 1997 Uphaar cinema hall tragedy.

“I think criminals should be barred from contesting elections once charges are framed against them. We should not wait for their conviction as the rate of conviction is very low in our country,” she said.

In Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded four candidates with criminal records, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has three and the Congress has one such candidate.

TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan’s mother, Madhavi, says politics has become a lucrative profession as she also sought an end to the nexus between crime and politics.

“I think everything has to be changed. Our political system has to be changed. More importance should be given to security and education,” Madhavi said.

Madhavi’s 27-year-old daughter, Soumya, a TV journalist, was killed September 2008 while she was returning home from late night office shift.

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