इसे स्वच्छ राजनीती की शुरुआत माना जाए या नहीं, यह इस पर निर्भर करेगा की पांच सालों में सत्ताधारी दल का प्रदर्शन कैसा रहेगा? यदि वह लोगों की अपेक्षाओं पर खरे उतरते हैं तो इसे स्वच्छ राजनीति का आरंभ माना जा सकता है.
Too hasty to interpret the results of the election
Jagdeep S. Chhokar
Results of the Delhi election have surprised everyone including possibly the winners, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The AAP perhaps also did not expect the extent of the sweep that it has achieved. In addition to the unexpected landslide, the results have another notable feature. None of the MLAs has a “heinous” criminal case against them.
What is “heinous” needs some clarification. Under the Supreme Court judgments of 2002 and 2003, candidates are required to declare certain types of criminal cases pending against them. In earlier elections, this used to be reported as “criminal” cases and “serious criminal cases”. “Criminal” cases were ALL the cases declared by the candidates in their affidavits. “Serious criminal cases” were considered to be those that fall in the criteria mentioned in Box 1. This included several cases that though considered “serious” under the criteria mentioned in Box 1, were not considered serious by people at large. Examples of such serious cases are cases related to disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, joining unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object, obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention, knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse.
Taking note of the fact of the people at large not taking seriously, it was decided to report the number of cases of “heinous” crimes separately. Heinous crimes were considered to be those related to murder, attempt to murder, rape, kidnapping, abduction, dacoity, robbery, and crimes against women and children.
On analysis, it was found that while 13 out of 67 (or 19 per cent) MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party and 1 out of 3 (33 per cent) of the MLAs of the BJP had serious criminal cases against them as per the criteria mentioned in Box 1, none of the MLAs had a case of heinous crime against them.
While it has not been possible to do a rigourous and through analysis so far, it can be said with reasonable confidence that this is very unlikely to be the case in any other state assembly.
That is why the question arises: Is this the beginning of clean politics?
It seems to be too early to give a categorical answer to this question. Whether it will turn out to be the beginning of clean politics will depend on how the Delhi legislature performs and how the Aam Aadmi Party manages itself and its 67 MLAs over the next five years. If they perform as per the expectations of the people of Delhi, it will be the beginning of clean politics.
It will also depend on how AAP goes about the process of expanding its presence in other states. There are already reports about their contesting the Punjab Assembly and Bengaluru Municipal elections. What kind of candidates they choose for these elections will also reveal whether it is the beginning of clean politics or not.
So, while one hopes it is the beginning of clean politics, previous experience also strongly suggests that we be cautious about the future. The net response seems to be of cautious optimism about the future.