President of the Republican Party of India, Ramdas Athawale, has appreciated the Supreme Court's directive to the political parties to publish information on politicians with a criminal background on their websites. He said that the move is crucial for a democracy.
Athawale said, "The Supreme Court's decision is right because there should be no crime involved in a democracy. Those with a criminal background should enter politics. But many times, what happens is that some are involved incorrectly as well and till the time it is not proved in court, it is not right to accuse someone."
He added, "Every party that chooses its candidate for the elections should ensure that their candidate does not have a criminal background and if there are such instances, then they should be uploading the information and then submitting it to the election commission."
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued guidelines to curb criminalisation in politics. The apex court has ordered the political parties to disclose the criminal records of their candidates within 48 hours. The top court has ordered the parties to submit a compliance report of the same to the Election Commission within 72 hours, failing which a contempt plea can be filed. While delivering the verdict, the bench comprising of Justice RF Nariman and Justice Ravindra Bhat the top court observed that there has been an alarming increase in criminalisation of politics in the last four elections. The court was hearing the contempt petitions filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and Ram Babu Singh Thakur.
Athawale also spoke about the incident where a bust of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was removed in Chhindwara. Condemning the incident, he said, "The incident is serious and is an incorrect decision taken by the Madhya Pradesh government. Chief Minister Kamal Nath should look into this issue and the matter should be investigated. The CM should also ensure that the bust is restored."