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At 64%, Maharashtra has the fifth highest share of ministers with declared criminal cases – after Kerala, Bihar, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

INDIA Updated: Jan 07, 2020 17:14 IST

Vijdan Mohammad Kawoosa
Vijdan Mohammad Kawoosa
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakeray greets his cabinet Ministers as he arrives for a group photograph at the premise of Vidhan Bhawan, in Nagpur.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakeray greets his cabinet Ministers as he arrives for a group photograph at the premise of Vidhan Bhawan, in Nagpur.(File photo: PTI)

Sixty-four percent of the newly-appointed ministers in Maharashtra – 27 out of 42 – have criminal cases pending against them, according to a report by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The report by the non-profit organisation is based on an analysis of self-sworn affidavits filed by the ministers with the Election Commission of India ahead of contesting elections to the state legislature.

The list of 42 ministers does not include chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who has not yet contested any election.

At 64%, Maharashtra has the fifth highest share of ministers with declared criminal cases – after Kerala, Bihar, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh – among 25 states for which data of ministers in their latest government has been released by ADR.

Also, 18 ministers or 43% in the Maharashtra government have a criminal case of serious nature against them.

This makes Maharashtra the state with the second-highest share of ministers with serious criminal cases, after Telangana where 47% of ministers had serious criminal cases. At 43%, Delhi is at par with Maharashtra on this count – three of Delhi’s seven ministers had serious criminal cases against them.

To be sure, these reports have been released immediately after the formation of the latest governments in these states and hence do not account for any changes in ministerial berths made in the states thereafter.

ADR has not released a similar report for the latest government in Karnataka, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Tripura and Puducherry, whereas Jammu and Kashmir does not have an elected government at present.

The share of ministers with criminal and serious criminal cases in Maharashtra has not changed compared to the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena coalition government formed in 2014.

Ministers from all parties in the present coalition government in Maharashtra have criminal cases against them. These include eight of the Shiv Sena’s 11 ministers, seven of the Congress’ 12 ministers and 10 of the Nationalist Congress Party’s 16 ministers.

A minister each from the Krantikari Shetkari Party and Prahar Janshakti Party, also partners in the present coalition government, have criminal cases against them while a minister who contested the election as an Independent candidate does not have any such case.

In terms of their educational background, Maharashtra is among the states with the lowest share of ministers who are graduates or have a higher degree. Of the 42 ministers in Maharashtra, 22, or 55%, are graduates or above.

Only three states, Goa, Gujarat and Meghalaya, have a smaller share of ministers of this educational background.

The report on Maharashtra ministers also gives details of their financial background. There is only one minister, Aditi Sunil Tatkare, who is not a crorepati.

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