New Delhi

At least one-fourth of the ministers in the new Gujarat Cabinet have criminal charges filed against them and nearly three-fourth of the 25 ministers have wealth running in crores, a report from Gujarat Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms has claimed.

The latest report by the election watchdog says that of the total 25 ministers in the new Cabinet, seven are embroiled in criminal cases. Of these, three face serious criminal charges. At least 19 of these ministers are crorepatis.

The ministers facing criminal charges include Patel Raghavjibhai Hansrajbhai, Arvindbhai Gordhanbhai Raiyani, Vaghani Jitendrabhai Savajibhai and Rajendra Trivedi. The Ministers facing serious criminal charges are Parmar Pradipbhai Khanabhai; Jitubhai Chaudhari and Sanghvi Harsh Rameshkumar.

The Cabinet has only two women, and the average asset of the 25 ministers is Rs 3.95 crore.

“The minister with the highest declared total assets is Patel Rushikesh Ganeshbhai from Visnagar constituency with assets worth Rs 14.95 crore. The minister with the lowest declared total assets is Chauhan Arjunsinh Udesinh from Mehmedabad constituency with assets worth Rs 12.57 lakh," the report says.

At least 13 ministers, accounting for 52 percent, have declared their educational qualification to be between 8th and 12th standard, while 11 (44 per cent) ministers have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. One minister is just literate.

“A total of 13 ministers have declared their age to be between 31-50 years while 12 (48%) ministers have declared their age to be between 51-70 years," it added.

The new ministers of the Bhupendra Patel-led government in Gujarat took oath on Thursday. The 59-year-old first-time MLA, Bhupendra Patel, took over as new Gujarat Chief Minister on Monday after the sudden resignation of Vijay Rupani last week.

The assembly elections in the state are scheduled for December 2022. In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won 99 of the 182 seats and the Congress got 77.

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