Nine ministers of the Congress-led UPA government have criminal cases pending against them, including one who faces a serious charge of theft, as per their Lok Sabha election affidavits.
Two NGOs espousing the cause of poll reforms said seven of the ministers are from the Congress, while one each are from the DMK and the Trinamool Congress.
The Congress ministers are Subodh Kant Sahay, Mukul Wasnik, Ajay Maken, Harish Rawat, Arun Yadav, Pratik Prakashbapu Patil and Pradeep Jain, while Sisir Adhikari is from the TMC and Gandhiselvan from DMK.
Adhikari has stated in his affidavit that he has a case of theft Section 379 IPC against him. Others have been charged with wrongful restraint, defamation and the like.
The NGOs -- Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) -- are working in the field of electoral reforms for the past few years and studied the affidavits of 66 ministers who are from the Lok Sabha.
The affidavits also show that NCP leader and Minister of State with independent charge, Praful Patel, is the richest minister. He is worth Rs 89.9 crore followed by Preneet Kaur (Rs 42.3 crore) and Kapil Sibal (Rs 31.9 crore).