Cong beats BJP in Karnataka again but not for happy reasons

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Bangalore, July 16: The Congress had handsomely defeated the BJP in this year's Karnataka assembly polls and returned to power after seven years but what has caught the eyes is that it has beaten its adversary also in terms of tainted representatives.

According to www.myneta.info, a website which speaks on various issues related to the elected representatives in India, the current assembly in Karnataka has 38 members from the ruling party who have criminal cases pending against them with 17 having serious charges. In contrast, the BJP has just 13.

This is quite surprising for the change in Karnataka was considered to be an outcome of the people's frustration with a tainted BJP regime which was led by three chief ministers between 2008 and 2013.

A series of charges against the first saffron government in south India and the pull-out by a powerful leader from the party saw the tenure not extending beyond one term but what change has really been witnessed with the number of tainted MLAs increasing from 44 to 74 in the 224-member assembly?

The number of MLAs having serious criminal charges have increased from 18 to 38 in the five years. While the most tainted Congress MLA in the current assembly has 17 cases pending against him, the number was 12 in the previous BJP-dominated assembly.

Among other comparative studies, the number of 'crorepati winners' has increased from 140 to 203 between 2008 and 2013, that of the winning candidates who are graduates or above has also increased to 139 from 118.

Educational standards have improved while money power has increased in Karnataka politics but at the same time, criminalisation of politics too has deepened root.

The figures are also important for the Supreme Court has recently said that any MP or MLA convicted of any crime would be disqualified immediately.

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