Candidates with hate speech cases against them were three times more successful in elections compared to those without a criminal record, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of self-disclosed crime records of candidates who have contested various elections nationwide over the last 12 years. To put these data in perspective, over the last 12 years, 10 percent of candidates with no criminal cases won elections, while the figure was 20 percent for candidates with criminal cases of any kind.
As many as 70 MPs and MLAs hate speech cases pending against them, according to their own disclosures to the Election Commission (EC). A season of hate speeches by politicians — including union ministers, MPs and MLAs — is underway across India, driven by inflamed, opposing views on nationalism. “Hate speech” currently has no specific legal definition, although the Law Commission has been tasked by the Supreme Court to do just that. Among political parties, the BJP has given tickets to most number of candidates with “hate speech” cases.