Of the 29 ministers sworn in to the Bihar Cabinet on July 29, 22 have criminal cases against them, according to a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms on Tuesday. This means that 76% of the Bihar Cabinet faces criminal charges. Further, nine of the 22 ministers have been accused of serious offences, including murder, forgery, cheating and crimes against women.
The organisation’s report on the Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party Cabinet is based on the analysis of affidavits MLAs and MLCs submitted before the Bihar Assembly elections in November 2015 and the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
The study also mentioned that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s old Cabinet, formed when the JD(U)’s had allied with the Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal, had fewer ministers with criminal cases against them – 19 of 28.
The new Cabinet has only one female minister, while the previous one had two. Nine ministers in the newly-inducted Cabinet declared that they had not studied beyond Class 8 or Class 12, and 18 of them are graduates or have higher degrees, the ADR report said.
A survey of the financial backgrounds of the 29 ministers found that their assets are worth an average of Rs 2.46 crore, though the number of crorepatis in the new Cabinet has dropped to 21 from 22 in the previous one.