Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that if voted to power after the 2014 general elections, he would approach the Supreme Court of India with a request to set up special courts to deal with politicians who had criminal cases registered against them.
Modi told Smita Prakash, Editor (News) Asian News International (ANI), in an exclusive interview held here, that: “Criminilastion of politics is a grave issue, and this concern, is shared by every citizen of the country. It should be the concern of every party and all leaders.”
When asked what solutions he had in mind to deal with the issue, Modi said: “One solution is that political parties feel determined and don’t give tickets to such leaders. But this situation hasn’t arrived as of now. I have made up my mind, that this time, the MLAs or MPs who have been elected, to whichever party they belong, even if they belong to the BJP, if they have criminal charges against them, then I would request the SC to set up special courts to try them, and see that all of these criminals cases be disposed off within an year.”
“So, that if a person is convicted, and his seat is vacated, then a person of a non-criminal background can takeover. In this way, the criminal layer in politics would be erased,” he added.
On whether he would work for a political consensus on this issue in parliament, the BJP prime ministerial candidate said: “Every party raises this issue, but nobody actually takes the initiative. I want to do this, and, I think, this is the best way. But, I am open to other good ideas.”
“This should not be taken in a political context to put someone in jail. The real issue is that if Modi has four FIRs in his name, then it should be tried within a year. This is what I am saying, There is nothing vindictive. It’s not that we will start a new CBI inquiry or dig out files of certain leaders. I don’t want to commit this sin,” Modi said.
“I want the credibility of the Indian institutions and the respect of Constitutional organisations to increase. If the country stands on multiple pillars of constitutional institutions, it will emerge stronger,” the BJP prime ministerial candidate said.
Seeing the issue from a historical perspective, he said: “In the beginning, the leadership that emerged was from the revolution for Independence. Then, it came from social welfare. Then, it went towards casteism. Slowly and slowly, a leadership started emerging through gunpoint. This was a big deterioration, which is of grave concern. Earlier, political parties use to seek the help of criminals for gains. But then, criminals felt that why shouldn’t they themselves do this? So, this was the situation which started developing. Even if this was in small percentages like two percent or five percent, it was an issue of concern.”