Lucknow against crime-politics nexus

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Not just Lucknow, the people of Uttar Pradesh are fed up with the politics of caste and religion and the growing clout of criminals in politics. They want change

Pradeep Kapoor Lucknow, Hardnews

If the people of Lucknow have their way, then it could be tough for Sanjay Dutt to contest the Lok Sabha election from the city.

A signature campaign will soon be launched in Lucknow to prevent criminals and the convicted from contesting polls. Also, plans are afoot to move the Supreme Court to seek a directive to this effect, said social activist Rajiv Mishra. He welcomed the decision of the apex court refusing to grant a stay on the punishment of mafia-turned-politician Om Prakash Srivastav alias Babloo Srivastav, serving a life sentence for the murder of customs officer LD Arora.

Srivastav had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on punishment so that he could contest elections from Lucknow for the Lok Sabha. Not just Lucknow, the people of Uttar Pradesh are fed up with the politics of caste and religion and the growing clout of criminals in politics. They want change.

Veteran politician and three-term Lucknow mayor, Dr Dauji Gupta, told Hardnews that during his recent visit to Bharua Sumerpur village in Hamirpur, he sensed a change in the attitude of villagers towards elections. The villagers told Gupta that they would not vote for anybody who had got a nomination after paying huge sums to a political party. Also, they would not vote for any criminal. "The villagers resolved to vote for honest and sincere political workers who were interested in development work," Gupta said.

Another senior politician in Lucknow was in for a surprise right in his house. His grandson, a student of class VI, along with his classmates had made badges which said: "No lawbreaker as lawmaker". Speaking in support of the popular mood, social activist Ansumali Tandon said, "Our concern should be to evict criminals from society. We have to strengthen our judicial system. Then, everything will fall into place." A government servant is barred from attending office when suspended, they why isn't a similar rule applied to public representatives, he wondered.

Senior journalist Kuldeep Nayar has also launched a campaign against criminalisation of politics in Lucknow. He called for immediate steps to prevent the criminals and the convicted from contesting elections.