Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said criminals have no place in politics and his party would never field candidates with tainted credentials.
Reacting strongly to a report stating that Delhi has the maximum percentage of legislators with criminal records among the five states set for polls in the coming months, Kejriwal blamed political parties for putting the safety of society in jeopardy for political gains.
"Crimes rates in the Capital are increasing, and will continue to increase if those with criminal cases are made in-charge of the law and order situation," Kejriwal told HT.
According to Kejriwal, his party has not fielded a single candidate with questionable credentials, unlike others political parties.
Continuing his attack on both the ruling Congress and the main Opposition, BJP, the retired bureaucrat-turned-politician said: "If political parties are serious about curbing crime and making our city safe, they must put an end to the criminalization of politics."
"We can't have criminals make laws. They simply cannot be the custodians of law," added the 45-year-old.
Kejriwal went on to say that his party, if elected, would not only rigorously work towards fixing the deteriorating crime situation in Delhi, but also introduce stronger, more stringent laws.
"One of the first goals for us would be to bring in a strong anti-rape law. These tainted lawmakers are in no position to do that. Many of them, in fact, would themselves be behind bars if such a law were introduced."
Kejriwal was reacting to the findings of a report by the National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reform (ADR), based on information furnished in the affidavits filed before the returning officers in 2008.
According to the report, in terms of party affiliation, the BJP had given tickets to 35% candidates with criminal cases in Delhi, while, the Congress had fielded 30% tainted candidates.