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Hate-speech FIR on eight ministers, 19 with criminal cases: Association for Democratic Reforms

The ones accused of hate speech include ministers Amit Shah, Giriraj Singh, and Dharmendra Pradhan, and junior ministers Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Shantanu Thakur, Sukanta Majumdar, Shobha Karandlaje and Nityanand Rai. Thakur and Majumdar also face FIRs for attempt to murder

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 12.06.24, 05:51 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

An analysis of election affidavits by poll watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) reveals that out of the 72 new ministers, 19 have serious criminal cases.

Eight ministers face FIRs for alleged hate speeches, and two — both from Bengal — are accused of attempted murder.

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Minister of state George Kurian has not been analysed as he has not yet been elected to Parliament. His affidavit for the 2016 Kerala polls had no criminal antecedents.

Some of the cases against the ministers date back to more than five years ago and none of them have been convicted yet. Once convicted, they won’t be able to contest polls for six years after being released from jail if the sentence is for more than two years.

The ones accused of hate speech include ministers Amit Shah, Giriraj Singh, and Dharmendra Pradhan, and junior ministers Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Shantanu Thakur, Sukanta Majumdar, Shobha Karandlaje and Nityanand Rai. Thakur and Majumdar also face FIRs for attempt to murder.

Many of these ministers, including Shah and Rai, have got relief from higher courts. Shah was booked in Contai in 2019 for saying that Mamata Banerjee’s government would fall when the votes for the Lok Sabha polls that year were counted and that she could incite violence. The BJP’s seat share jumped from two to 18 in Bengal that year but remained below Trinamool’s tally of 22.

Rai was booked during a bypoll campaign in 2018 in Bihar’s Araria for saying: “If the RJD candidate, Sarfaraz Alam, wins the elections from Araria, the region would become an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) den.” Alam won the bypoll.

The share of ministers facing serious cases has fallen from 29 per cent in 2019 to 27 per cent this year. In 2014, however, this figure was just 17 per cent.

Other remarks of the newly appointed ministers that invited police action against them include Giriraj Singh’s remark in Bihar’s Begusarai during the 2019 polls. He was quoted as saying: “Those who cannot say Vande Mataram or cannot respect the motherland, the nation will never forgive them. My ancestors died at the Simaria Ghat and did not need a grave but you need three handspans of space.” He won Begusarai.

Karandlaje has two pending FIRs. In March, she said people from outside Karnataka allegedly committed crimes there. In 2020, she claimed that people were denied water in Kerala for supporting the new citizenship regime.

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