Even as the Samajwadi government in Uttar Pradesh draws flak for delaying the arrest of politicians who allegedly fomented trouble ahead of the Muzaffarnagar riots,the Association of Democratic Research has found that 11 MPs and 26 MLAs across the country have been accused of attempting to whip up religious sentiments or wilfully damaging places of worship.
The figures were collated after analysing affidavits submitted by candidates at the time of filing their nomination papers.
The candidates included have previously been charged under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion,race,place of birth,residence,language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony),295 (destruction,damage or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred with intent to insult the religion of a class of persons) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling). Fourteen of these legislators are from the BJP,five are from AIMIM and four are from the SP.
The report said that a total of 80 such candidates have fought Parliamentary and Assembly elections since 2008,but have lost. Thirteen of these candidates belong to the BJP and seven are from the SP. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of such candidates (25).