No to tainted legislator as Madhya Pradesh’s Leader of Opposition

December 23rd, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Dec 23 (IANS) Even as the Congress is yet to select the Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh, the Association for Democratic Reforms - a network of over 1,200 civil society groups - has urged it not to consider any legislator with a criminal background for the post. “All the political parties should take such a step as a gesture of cleansing the governance and politics of unsavoury elements”, said Jagdeep S. Chhokar, one of the founder members of the Association.

Last week, the group had appealed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh to deny ministerial berths to those legislators who have a criminal background.

It had identified 27 legislators against whom criminal cases are pending and sent their names to senior party leaders, including former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley.

The association has now identified 23 such legislators from Congress, against whom criminal cases are pending and sent the list to senior Congress party leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party president Sonia Gandhi, S. Jaipal Reddy, Kapil Sibal, Naveen Jindal, Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh, Karan Singh, Prithviraj Chavan, Dr. M.S. Gill and Abhishek M. Singhvi.

“It is disappointing that candidates with criminal background were given nominations of your party even after public statements having been made by several leaders of the party that tainted candidates will not be given tickets for the Assembly elections,” a letter accompanying the list said.

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