The Congress party may have won three of the five states where votes were counted last Monday, but in weeding out crime-tainted politicians the BJP appears to have done a shade better.
The share of crime-tainted politicians in the total number of MLAs elected to legislatures of these states has declined to 13.9 per cent this time, from 21.4 per cent in last elections, according to information distilled out of affidavits filed with the Election Commission.
Much of that drop could be attributed to pre-poll developments in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, where the ruling BJP gave tickets to scores of first timers and dropped a large number of sitting MLAs, many of them crime-tainted.
The Congress seems to have gone easy on this count. Compared to last elections, the number of Congress MLAs with criminal charges in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram has doubled to 36. In case of BJP, which was earlier burdened with a large number crime- tainted MLAs, the figure has dropped to 38 now from 99 in 2003.
That said, both parties now have an equal burden of MLAs with criminal charges, given that their share of assembly seats in these five states are more even after the recent elections. Congress won 279 seats in these states, while BJP scored in 294.