Kejriwal renews attack on 'criminal' MPs
Ghaziabad, March 30 (IANS) Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, who faces a privilege motion from the Lok Sabha, reiterated Friday that parliament's "tendency to induct criminal MPs" was increasing.
"A total of 522 criminal cases are being carried in the court against 162 MPs of which 76 are of heinous nature. The tendency to induct criminal MPs into the parliament is being increased," he said while addressing a press conference at his home in Kaushambi in this town adjoining Delhi.
"In 2004, 128 MPS were from a criminal background... the strength reached 162 in 2009," he said.
Kejriwal claimed that in 2009, the Congress gave tickets to 117 candidates with a criminal background, of which 44 were elected. The Bharatiya Janata Party fielded 116 such candidates, of which 44 were elected.
He alleged that cases of bribery against parliamentarians was a "well known fact".
Referring to the MPs found taking bribes for asking questions, Kejriwal said that the action against them was "merely their termination from the house".
"When action was taken to terminate from the house when the MPs were found raising questions after taking bribes, why did the parliamentarians keep mum and not initiate a privilege motion against the bribe-seeking MPs. Had parliament not been defamed," he asked.
"Did parliamentarians bring a privilege motion against (Rashtriya Janata Dal MP) Rajniti Prasad who tore the (Lokpal) bill in the house... had parliament not been defamed at that time. Such incidents had taken place on several occasions but in none of them, was a privilege motion brought against such parliamentarians," added Kejriwal.
"There had been occasions when eight bills had been passed from the house within 17 minutes but the bill of the most priority - the Jan Lokpal bill - had been lying pending because will of the parliament is not there. They (the MPs) could discuss the issue of slapping (Agriculture Minister) Sharad Pawar for two hours in the house but have no time for the important bill like Jan Lokpal bill," he said.
He also asserted that he did not avail any help from the Ford Foundation as certain MPs have alleged.
Kejriwal said that he ready to face the motion but with the request to allow him to explain in the house in person.
His Team Anna colleague, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, alleged that the privilege motion was being abused by parliamentarians.
He said the basic spirit of the provision of a privilege motion was to give freedom to MPs to raise questions.
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