A total of 58 current MPs and MLAs have declared cases related to hate speech, with BJP having the maximum number of such politicians, said a Delhi-based think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report on Wednesday.
“15 sitting Lok Sabha MPs have declared cases related to hate speech against themselves. None of the Rajya Sabha MPs have declared cases related to hate speech,” the report said.
Ten sitting Lok Sabha MPs with such declared cases are from BJP, and one each from AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front), TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi), PMK (Paattali Makkall Katchi), AIMIM and SHS (Shiv Sena), it said.
BJP has 27 MPs, MLAs with such cases, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has 6, TRS (6), TDP (3), SHS (3), AITC (2), INC (2), IND (2), JD(U) (2), AIUDF (1), BSP (1), DMK (1), PMK (1) and SP (1), the ADR report added.
“Political party leaders such as Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) and Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF) have declared cases related to hate speech against themselves,” ADR said.
Also, Uma Bharti, Union Cabinet Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation has declared such cases as also eight state ministers, the report added.
There are 43 sitting MLAs who have declared hate speech cases.
Among party-wise distribution of MLAs, 17 sitting MLAs with such declared cases are from BJP, five each are from TRS and AIMIM, three from TDP, two each from INC, AITC, JD(U) and SHS, one each from DMK, BSP, SP and two Independent MLAs, the report added.
ADR and National Election Watch (NEW) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all sitting MPs and MLAs. The analysis reveals that many of them have declared cases related to hate speech.
The analysis is based on the affidavits submitted by the candidates and MPs/MLAs prior to the last election they contested.
Uttar Pradesh has 15 MPs, MLAs with declared cases related to hate speech, followed by Telangana (13), Karnataka (5) and Maharashtra (5), among others.
The report further said 11 sitting MLAs with such cases are from Telangana, four from Bihar, nine from Uttar Pradesh and four from Maharashtra.
Besides, three MLAs each are from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, two each from Uttarakhand and West Bengal and one MLA each from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
ADR said it believes that strict action must be taken against the candidates giving hate speech prior and during elections, and against the elected legislators even after elections, if found guilty of indulging in hate speech.
“Political parties must not give tickets to candidates who have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast tracked and decided upon in a time bound manner,” ADR said in its recommendations.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked BJP leaders to refrain from making “irresponsible” statements, saying such comments hurt the party’s image.
PM Modi had also said party members should not always blame the media for blowing things out of proportion since it was them who provide “masala” to the Press.
“We give masala to the media. The moment we see a cameraperson, we jump to make a statement as if we are great social scientists or intellectuals. Then these ill-informed statements are used by media and the party’s image takes a beating. It is not the media’s fault,” Modi said. The PM’s rebuke comes amid a series of off-the-cuff remarks made by party motormouths in recent times.
In the last five years, 198 candidates with declared cases related to hate speech have contested elections for state assemblies, Lok/Rajya Sabha.
Also, in the last five years, 28 independent candidates with declared cases related to hate speech have contested elections for state assemblies, Lok/Rajya Sabha.