Four out of the 17 ministers in the new BJP government in Gujarat face criminal cases, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said.
The report stated that ‘As many as 16 ministers including Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel are ‘crorepatis’ or own assets worth Rs 1 crore or more’.
Bhupendra Patel’s 2.0 team of cabinet ministers was sworn in on Monday following the BJP’s landslide victory in the Gujarat Assembly elections.
The ADR report said that ‘Minister of State for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Parshottam Solanki faces two charges of cheating and dishonesty under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, one charge of `forgery of valuable security’ under section 467 and one charge of forgery under section 465’.
Interestingly, Three other ministers: Harsh Sanghavi, Rushikesh Patel and Raghavji Patel — face relatively minor charges such as disobedience of order passed by public servant under IPC section 188 and defamation under section 500, among others.
The report is based on self-sworn affidavits of MLAs, according to ADR, which works on electoral reforms. Ministers’ average assets are Rs 32.7 crore, compared to Rs 3.95 crore for the previous 25-member ministry.
Minister with the highest declared assets is Balvantsinh Rajput. According to the report, he owns assets worth Rs. 372.65 crore. Bachubhai Khabad has the lowest declared assets of Rs 92.85 lakh.
Six ministers have studied between 8th and 12th standard, eight ministers have completed graduation or post-graduation, and three ministers are diploma-holders.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel (60) holds a diploma in civil engineering. Three ministers are below 50 years of age. Harsh Sanghvi (37) is the youngest member of the council of ministers while Kanubhai Desai, 71, is the senior-most member.
- Ministers with Criminal Cases: 4(24%) ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves.
- Ministers with Serious Criminal Cases: 1(6%) minister has declared a serious criminal case against himself.
- Crorepati Ministers: Out of the 17 ministers analysed, 16 (94%) are crorepatis.
- Average Assets: The average assets of 17 ministers analysed is Rs 32.70 crores. Minister with Highest Assets: The minister with the highest declared total assets is Balvantsinh chandansinh Rajput from Sidhpur constituency with assets worth Rs. 372.65 crores.
- Minister with Lowest Assets: The minister with the lowest declared total assets is Khabad Bachubhai Maganbhai from Devgadhbaria constituency with assets worth Rs. 92.85 lakhs.
- Liabilities: A total of 14 ministers have declared liabilities out of which the minister with the highest liabilities is Balvantsinh chandansinh Rajput of Sidhpur constituency with Rs. 12.59 crores of liabilities.
Other Background details (Education, Gender, Age)
- Ministers’ Education: 6(35%) ministers have declared their educational qualification to be between 8 th and 12th standard while 8(47%) ministers have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. 3(18%) ministers are Diploma holders.
- Ministers’ Age: 3(18%) ministers have declared their age to be between 31 and 50 years while 14 (82%) ministers have declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years.
- Women Ministers: Out of 17 ministers, 1(6%) is a woman.
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