New Delhi: More than 70 per cent of the newly sworn-in ministers in Bihar have declared criminal cases against themselves, the poll rights body ADR said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav also have cases registered against them.
Kumar, who recently severed ties with the BJP and joined hands with the RJD to form the government in Bihar, expanded his new cabinet on Tuesday by inducting 31 new ministers. Kumar and Deputy CM Yadav had been sworn in earlier on August 10.
Consequent to the reconstitution of the Bihar Council of Ministers, the Association for Democratic Reforms and the Bihar Election Watch have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 32 out of 33 ministers, including the chief minister, submitted during the 2020 Assembly polls.
One Cabinet minister, Ashok Chaudhary of JD(U), who is a nominated member of the Legislative Council, is not required to submit his affidavit, hence his information on criminal, financial and other details are not available in the public domain, the ADR said in its report.
According to the report, 23 ministers (72 per cent) have declared criminal cases against themselves and 17 ministers (53 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Out of the 32 ministers, 27 (84 per cent) are crorepatis and the average assets of 32 ministers analysed is Rs 5.82 crore.
The minister with the highest declared total assets is Samir Kumar Mahaseth from the Madhubani constituency with assets worth Rs. 24.45 crore and the minister with the lowest declared total assets is Murari Prasad Gautam from the Chenari (SC) constituency with assets worth Rs 17.66 lakh.
A total of 23 ministers have declared financial liabilities. The minister with the highest liabilities is Lalit Kumar Yadav from the Darbhanga Rural constituency at Rs 2.35 crore.
Eight ministers (25 per cent) have declared their educational qualification to be between 8th and 12th standard, while 24 (75 per cent) have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.
A total of 17 ministers have declared their age to be between 30-50 years while 15 have declared their age to be between 51-75 years.
The Council of Ministers has three women. Of the Council of Ministers, 11 are from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), 16 from the RJD, two from the Congress and one from former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, besides an Independent.