A former bureaucrat has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to induct legislators facing criminal charges into the Uttar Pradesh cabinet or in official positions.

E.A.S. Sarma, who retired as secretary to the Union government, wrote a letter to Modi on Tuesday, making an appeal to ensure that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators against whom criminal cases were registered are not given ministerial berths or other official positions.

He cited the report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an election watch NGO, which revealed that of the 312 BJP candidates who won the assembly polls, 114 (37 per cent) have criminal cases pending against them.

Of these, 83 have been arraigned for serious criminal charges like murder, attempt to murder and crime against women.

“Some of us feel surprised and deeply concerned as to how the BJP party leadership had allowed such candidates to contest the elections in the first instance, knowing well that the party had openly declared its determination to campaign against crime and corruption in politics,” Sarma wrote.

“Even at this belated stage, the BJP should set an example by asking all the winning candidates against whom such cases are pending to voluntarily give up their seats to pave the way for candidates with a clean background to contest for those seats,” added the retired Indian Administrative Service officer, who is working for electoral and democratic reforms.

The Election Commission announced the results of the 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh on March 11.