DEHRADUN: If BJP legislators have their way, the Trivendra Singh Rawat government will look into cases lodged against party MLAs which, according to a senior leader, were lodged with “malafide intention” during the previous Congress rule.
At least seven BJP legislators, including four ministers, are facing cases under various sections of Indian Penal Code. Gadarpur MLA and first-time minister Arvind Pandey tops the list with over 12 cases and 11 serious charges.
BJP state president Ajay Bhatt asserted several cases were lodged against party legislators due to political reasons during the Congress rule in Uttarakhand. “Government has several priorities to look into. But it should also look into it (withdrawal of cases),” Bhatt told HT on Thursday.
The opposition Congress rubbished that the BJP legislators were facing ‘political’ cases. “Politics should not come in and the law should take its own course,” Congress spokesperson MD Joshi said.
In its report, Association for Democratic Reforms mentions that Pandey faces a dozen criminal cases for inciting communal tensions, rioting, murder and dacoity among others. Cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat faces two cases for criminal intimidation and assault on government servant.
Haridwar MLA and cabinet minister Madan Kaushik has two cases including one for disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant under Section 188 of IPC. Cabinet minister Subodh Uniyal also faces one case.
Mussoorie legislator Ganesh Joshi, Sahaspur MLA SS Pundir and Rudrapur MLA Rajkumar Thakural are also fighting cases to get their name cleared.
The BJP president alleged even some senior leaders are facing ‘false’ cases lodged against them with a malafied intension. Bhatt said he will request chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to ask the officials concerned to examine cases based on “merits and demerits”. “Everybody knows how we were targeted during Harish Rawat’s rule,” he added.
It is not only BJP legislators who are facing legal cases. Congress MLA from Jaspur faces three serious charges including deliberate act intended to outrage religious feelings and promoting enmity on grounds of religion.
According to an analysis of self-sworn affidavits of candidates by Association for Democratic Reforms and Uttarakhand Election Watch, 91 of total 637 candidates had declared criminal cases. Of these, at least 54 of them faced serious criminal cases.