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Government

Nearly Half of UP's New Ministers Have Declared Criminal Cases Against Themselves

Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 45 of the total 53 ministers, including the chief minister.

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New Delhi: Analysis of affidavits submitted by 45 politicians who were sworn in as ministers in Uttar Pradesh shows that nearly half have declared criminal cases against themselves and most of them face serious charges, poll rights body Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said on Saturday.

Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and the ADR analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 45 of the total 53 ministers, including the chief minister. The affidavits of eight Sanjay Nishad and Jitin Prasada were unavailable for analysis on the election commission’s website at the time of bringing out this report, while details of ministers J.P.S. Rathore, Narendra Kashyap, Dinesh Pratap Singh, Dayashankar Mishra Dayalu, Jaswant Saini and Danish Azad Ansari were not analysed as they are currently not members of either the state assembly or the legislative council.

According to the ADR report, 22 (49%) ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves and 20 (44%) ministers have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. ADR defines serious criminal cases as offences for which maximum punishment is  5 years or more, are non-bailable or an electoral offence. Offences like assault, murder, kidnap, rape, those under the Prevention of Corruption Act and crimes against women are also defined as “serious criminal cases”.

Notably, chief minister Adityanath declared that there were no cases against him. During his previous term, the UP government withdrew cases – including one for hatespeech – against Adityanath.

The analysis also showed that an overwhelming number of ministers are crorepatis. Of the 45 ministers analysed, 39 (87%) are crorepatis and their average assets were Rs 9 crore.

As per his affidavit, Mayankeshwar Sharan Singh from the Tiloi constituency has declared the highest total assets, worth Rs 58.07 crore. Dharamveer Singh, an MLC is the minister with the lowest declared total assets, at Rs 42.91 lakh.

ADR said that nine (20%) ministers have declared their educational qualification to be between Classes 8 to 12 while 36 (80%) ministers are graduates and beyond.

Twenty (44%) ministers have declared their age to be between 30 and 50 years while 25 (56%) ministers stated that they were between 51 and 70 years old.

Of the 45 ministers analysed, five (11%) are women.

ADR also analysed the affidavits of three other states that recently elected new assemblies, finding that none of the nine ministers (including the chief minister) in Himachal Pradesh nor any of the six ministers in Manipur had declared criminal cases against themselves. In Punjab, seven of the 11 ministers (64%) have declared criminal cases in their affidavits.