In the last General Elections that took place in 2009, an estimated 150 MP’s that stood for election had criminal charges against them. That was a 17.2% rise in MP’s with criminal records from the 14th Lok Sabha elections (in 2004) which had 128 candidates with criminal records. There was also a 30.9% increase in the number of MPs charged with serious crimes in 2009 from the 2004 elections.

If you do the math, it means that one in every four lawmaker that was elected in the 15th Lok Sabha election has broken the law him/herself.

Uttar Pradesh set the record of sending the maximum number of tainted MPs to the Lok Sabha. 31 of their 80 MPs had criminal cases pending against them. Out of those 31, 22 were charged with serious crimes, ten with heinous ones.  Maharashtra came in second with 23 of its MPs having criminal cases against them, nine of those grave offences.

A lot of these charges are ones of rape and crimes against women. Kidnapping, assault and in the most heinous of cases, murder is also on the charge sheets of some on the MP’s that are currently in power. These are some of the individuals who are making laws and the policies that we, the people, must live and abide by. Ironic right?

Yet there is no passing the buck on this one, we are the ones who brought them to power by our vote. Not having voted is worse because it means that you mutedly sat by and let these politicians take a seat in the house of the people. 

2014 will see the 16th General Election of the largest democracy in the world and the power of who will steer it lies in our hands. Every vote for the right candidate counts and it is time to mobilize the largest voting block that has been ignored. One that constitutes 49% of all registered voters in India… women. Starting now, it is each of our individual responsibility to educate and enable our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, aunts, female friends, colleagues and every other woman within our families and social circle to choose the right candidate and to go out and cast her vote.

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