Narendra Modi yesterday vowed to cleanse the political system and Parliament from criminal elements if he comes to power and said his first job will be to set up a panel to probe pending criminal cases against the new MPs.
The BJP prime ministerial candidate said he will ensure that all offenders are sent to jail after asking the Supreme Court to hear the cases against them expeditiously.
Modi's promise to crack down on MPs with criminal antecedents across party lines in a bid to decriminalise politics and Parliament came at a poll rally here.
"I have decided that when a new government is formed after May 16, I will set up a committee to find out what cases are pending against whom. (Lok Sabha) candidates submit in their form during filing nominations the details of cases against them. I will not discriminate in it. I will not spare even the BJP and NDA candidates.
"I will ask the Supreme Court to hear the cases fast. Those, who have committed crime will go to jail and their seats will go to candidates with clean image. No accused will dare to fight polls. Who says that this cleansing cannot happen? I have come to cleanse politics. It is necessary to free Indian democracy from criminalisation," he said.
Hitting out at those who "mock" his childhood and poverty, the Gujarat chief minister said, "I have no regrets that I was born in a poor or backward family. I feel sad when leaders of SP, BSP and Congress make mockery of it and say whether a tea vendor can run the country. This shows the mentality of these leaders. They have become so haughty that they mock poverty.