Chidambaram Not Exception But There’s A Long List Of Leaders Arrested On Corruption Charges And Some Had To Go To Jail


New Delhi: P Chidambaram, who was arrested on Wednesday night in a corruption case, isn’t the first former Union minister to be arrested on allegations of corruption. There’s a long list of top ministers and leaders who have been arrested on corruption charges and some of them even had to go to jail.

The former finance minister, has, however, denied any wrongdoing in INX media case. The case relates to alleged irregularities in FIPB clearance given to the media group for foreign investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister.

In the recent past, other former ministers who went to jail include A Raja and Sukh Ram, both of who held the telecom portfolio under the Congress-led UPA government. Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Union cabinet minister Lalu Prasad Yadav too went to jailafter being convicted in a corruption case.

Former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao too battled allegations of corruption against him but never went to jail.

Other senior politicians who went to jail include former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha and M Karunanidhi. BS Yediyurappa and S Bangarappa – chief ministers of Karnataka – also had corruption cases filed against them. Yediyurappa also spent a brief time in jail on graft allegations.

In fact, out of the 539 candidates elected to the 17 Lok Sabha in 2019, 233 members of Parliament have declared criminal cases against themselves. It marks “44 percent increase in the number of MPs with declared criminal cases since 2009,” according to a recent report of the non-governmental organisation Association for Democratic Reform (ADR).

In the previous Lok Sabha – 2014-2009 – “out of 542 MPs analysed, 112 (21 percent) had declared serious criminal cases against themselves. In 2009, out of 543 winners analysed, 76 (14 percent) winners had declared serious criminal cases against themselves”, according to ADR.

And, in “the new Lok Sabha MPs, there are 10 who have declared convicted cases against themselves. There are 11 MPs with declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section 302) and 30 winners with declared cases of attempt to murder (IPC Section 307),” the report says.

Concerns over criminalisation of politics isn’t a recent phenomenon either. In the wake of the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings that left 257 dead and 713 people injured, the NN Vohra committee was set-up to study the politico-criminal nexus in India.

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