Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh has once again set a record of sending the maximum number of tainted MPs to the Lok Sabha: 31 of the state's 80 MPs have criminal cases pending against them.
Out of these 31, as many as 22 have serious criminal charges against them, according to figures released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an umbrella organisation of NGOs that monitors elections.
After the last elections in 2004, Uttar Pradesh had 28 MPs with criminal records.
"After scanning the affidavits submitted by the winning candidates, it has also been revealed that the number of MPs with criminal charges in the country has increased to 150 as compared to the 14th Lok Sabha figure of 128," Trilochan Shastri of ADR told IANS.
There is an increase of about 17.2 perecnt in MPs with criminal records and 30.9 percent increase in the number of MPs with serious criminal records, he added.
"Maharashtra is second with 23 MPs having criminal cases, out of which nine have serious cases against them," Shastri said.
To add to Uttar Pradesh's statistics, three MPs of the state have made it to the top 10 list of MPs with heinous criminal charges against them.
"They are Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Varun Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) Kapil Muni Karwariya and Samajwadi Party's Bal Kumar Patel," Shastri added.
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad also finds place on this list.
The BJP leads the party-wise figures with 42 MPs who have criminal cases against them, followed closely by the Congress with 41. Samajwadi Party is in third place with eight followed by the BSP with six.