Fifteen out of twenty ministers in Maharashtra have declared criminal cases against themselves, a report by non-profit organisation Association for Democratic Reforms said on Thursday.
Eighteen MLAs from the Maharashtra Assembly – nine each from Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party – took oath as ministers on Tuesday morning more than a month after Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister.
The analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms showed that eight BJP ministers had declared criminal cases against themselves, while seven Shiv Sena ministers had criminal cases.
Thirteen ministers declared serious criminal cases against themselves, out of whom six were from the BJP and seven from the Shiv Sena.
All the ministers have assets of over Rs 1 crore, and on an average, a minister in the state Cabinet has assets worth Rs 47.45 crore.
The BJP’s Mangal Prabhat Lodha is the minister with the highest declared assets (Rs 441.65 crore), while the Shiv Sena’s Sandipanrao Bhumare has the lowest assets (Rs 2.92 crore), the report said.
The organisation also noted that there are currently no women in the Cabinet.
On Tuesday, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule had said that it was “unfortunate and shocking” that no woman was given a ministerial berth.
“Fifty per cent of the population of the country is women and not a single woman finding a place in the cabinet is shocking and surprising,” she added. “This decision shows that they do not respect women.”
The new government came to power in Maharashtra after Shinde and several other Shiv Sena MLAs rebelled against party leader Uddhav Thackeray, toppling the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government.
A legal battle is underway between the two groups to be recognised as the real Shiv Sena. The Thackeray-led faction has filed six petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the governor’s act of administering the oath of office to Shinde and questioning the election of the Maharashtra Speaker, among other things.