Hyderabad: Out of the 52 candidates in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections in Telangana, 19 have serious criminal antecedents. The offences include human trafficking, outraging a woman’s modesty, attempt to bribe voters, and hawala transactions.
The BJP’s candidate for Adilabad, Bapurao Soyam, has 52 cases booked against him, the highest.
A majority of the cases were booked in 2015-2016 during the Lambada community conflict. But the most notable case against Mr Soyam is being booked for cheating, forgery and impersonation of another woman by showing her as his wife in the passport. The 2007 case has been pending for 12 years.
Another candidate facing serious cases is TRS’s Nama Nageshwararao, contesting from Khammam. He is accused of outraging the modesty of a woman and threatening her, and also of adultery, attempt to bribe voters, and a cheating case connected to hawala money.
Congress candidate for Malakajgiri, A. Revanth Reddy, has been booked in 42 cases, the second largest number. A majority of the cases have been booked by the ACB in the infamous cash-for-vote case, and also by the Enforcement Directorate and Income tax.
With regard to pending cases, there are five criminal cases filed against AIMIM candidate Asaduddin Owaisi since the past nine years.
“A contesting candidate as per section 6(a) of the affidavit states that ‘I have given full and up to date information to my political party about all pending cases against me and about all cases of conviction.’ If the contesting candidates have given information including criminal cases, how did the party issue them B-forms to contest the election? Political parties are after winnable candidates, irrespective of their criminal record,” said former IFS officer M. Padmanabha Reddy.
For quick disposal of pending cases against MLAs and MPs the Supreme Court in 2017 ordered that special fast track courts be established. Accordingly, a special court has been established by the TS government but till February 2019, no permanent judge or staff has been posted in the special court.