New Delhi: The Ordinance to protect convicted politicians has already been torn up and thrown out on the orders of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. But, the debate over convicted politicians refuses die down. One question, everyone is still asking: "Why is Narendra Modi silent? Why is he not saying a word on this?"
Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate would definitely have made it a big issue, if his own government did not have convicted ministers.
A senior minister in the Modi government, Babubhai Bokhiria has been convicted by a court in Porbander for illegal limestone mining. He is now out on bail after challenging his conviction in the Gujarat High Court.
Modi needs a strongman like Bokiria to keep his votes intact. A staunch supporter of Modi, he is facing 47 serious criminal cases.
It is not just one minister; a few others are also facing serious charges.
Amit Shah, Modi's former minister of state, home and currently BJP's general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh. He is out on bail after being accused of involvement in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases.
Maya Kodnani, a former minister in the Modi government, has been convicted in the massacre of 97 people during the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Naroda Gam and Naroda Patia. She has been sentenced to 28 years in jail.
Purushottam Solanki, the Koli (fishermen community) strongman's name figures in the Srikrishna Commission report on the 1993 Mumbai riots. He allegedly led the mobs. A former TADA detainee, he is also charged in Gujarat's Rs 400 crore fishing scam.
The only solace for Modi is Gujarat is not one of the top states, which have highest number of MLAs and MPs with criminal records. That honour goes to UP, which Modi is eyeing to get more Lok Sabha seats in 2014 polls to realise his dream of becoming the Prime Minister.
The records show that of the 403 legislators in the country's most populous state that sends the largest number of 80 MPs to Parliament, 189 have serious criminal cases - ranging from robbery, murder, rape to kidnapping and extortion - pending against them.