Twenty-four of the 78 Union ministers (or 31%) of the Narendra Modi cabinet have criminal cases registered against them, shows a scrutiny of their affidavits by an election watchdog.
A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) & National Election Watch (NEW) further shows that 14 of these ministers, that is 18%, have declared serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women against them.
ADR has studied the affidavits filed by these ministers at the time of contesting polls to declare cases registered against them and disclose their assets and liabilities.
Ministers with criminal cases are not limited to the Centre alone; even in state assemblies across the country, poll watchers found 201 of the 609 (out of the total 620) ministers with criminal cases.
There are seven ministers from various state assemblies who have declared cases related to murder and six related to communal violence, the report says.
Ministers accused of murder include Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United), Bahujan Samaj Party’s Ram Karan Arya from Uttar Pradesh, Chaudhary Shankarbhai Lagdhirbhai of BJP from Banaskantha in Gujarat, who has three charges related to attempt to murder, Mahesh Kumar Gagda, BJP, Bijapur in Chhattisgarh, Gulab Chand Kataria and Rajendra Rathore of the BJP from Rajasthan, Ram Vichar Rai of the RJD.
There are 113 ministers from various state assemblies who have serious criminal cases, with Jharkhand leading with nine of 11 (82%) who have serious charges.
In Delhi, four of the seven (57%); in Telangana, nine of 17 (53%); in Maharashtra 18 of 39 (46%); in Bihar, 11 of 28 (39%); in Uttarakhand, two of eight (25%) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their self-sworn affidavits.
According to the report, the average of assets per minister from state assemblies is Rs 8.59 crore while that of the Union Council of Ministers is Rs 12.94 crore.
Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the state with highest average assets of ministers at Rs 45.49 crore, followed by Karnataka with average assets of Rs 36.96 crore and Arunachal Pradesh with average assets of Rs 32.62 crore.
The state with the lowest average assets of ministers is Tripura (12 ministers) with average assets of Rs 31.67 lakh.
Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Puducherry are the states with all ministers being millionaires and of the 609 ministers analysed from state assemblies, 462 (76%) are millionaires.