Politics

In Bihar’s New Cabinet, 76% Ministers Have Criminal Cases Against Them

An Association for Democratic Reforms report has also found the average assets of 29 ministers in the Nitish Kumar-led cabinet to be Rs 2.46 crore.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Credit: PTI

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: More than three-fourth of the ministers in Bihar’s new government have criminal cases against them, higher than what it was in the previous grand alliance cabinet, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) stated.

According to the report, as many as 22 ministers (76%) out of 29 in the present government have criminal cases against them while in the grand alliance cabinet, 19 of total 28 ministers had cases registered against them.

The report was prepared after an analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of the 29 ministers including the chief minister by the Bihar Election Watch and ADR.

It stated, out of the 22 ministers who have declared to have criminal cases, nine have declared to have serious criminal cases against themselves. Criteria for serious criminal cases includes offences for which punishment is of at least five years, are non-bailable, are an electoral offence and fall under Prevention of Corruption Act.

While nine ministers have declared their educational qualification to be between class VIII and XII pass, 18 are graduates or have higher degrees.

Also, there is only one woman minister in the new cabinet compared to two in the last one, the report stated.

However, the number of crorepatis in the new Nitish Kumar-led cabinet has come down marginally to 21 from 22 in the previous one. The average assets of 29 ministers is Rs 2.46 crore, the report said.

On July 26, JD(U) chief Nitish had resigned as the chief minister of Bihar, ending the two-year-old alliance with the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD, but hours later joined hands with the BJP to reclaim the government.

Nitish was again sworn in as the chief minister the next day with BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy.