64% ministers face criminal cases in Maharashtra government

In the Uddhav Thackeray Government in Maharashtra as many as 27 ministers have criminal cases registered against them. This means whopping 64 per cent ministers have criminal cases pending against them in the State.

Maharashtra Cabinet has 26 Cabinet and 10 Ministers of State including NCP leader Ajit Pawar who was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government comprises Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. The 36 ministers sworn in on December 29 include 10 Cabinet and four ministers of state of the NCP, eight Cabinet and four MoS of Shiv Sena, eight Cabinet and two MoS of the Congress.

With this, NCP leads with 12 Cabinet ministers and four MoS, the Shiv Sena has 10 Cabinet ministers and four MoS while the Congress has 10 Cabinet ministers and two MoS. The state now has 43 ministers, including the Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackerary. Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 ministers. The size of council of ministers cannot exceed 15 per cent of the total number of MLAs, which is 288 in the state.

While 27 (64 per cent) ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves, as many as 18(43 per cent) ministers have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in the affidavits filed by them. Maharashtra Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 42 out of 43 Ministers from Maharashtra State Assembly 2019. According to Sharad Kumar, State Coordinator, Maharashtra Election Watch “Since the Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackrey has not contested any elections, his background details are not available for the analysis”.

Coming to assets, the average assets of 42 ministers analysed is 21.95 crores. The top three ministers with highest declared assets are-Kadam Vishwajeet Patangrao from Palus Kadegaon constituency who contested on Congress ticket. He had moveable assets of over 154 crores (1,54,75,74,096) and immoveable assets of  over 62 crores (62,07,66,139). Thus with total assets of over 216 crores, he tops the list. 

Ajit Aanantrao Pawar who won from Baramati on NCP ticket has assets of  above 75 crores. This includes movable assets of 23,73,41,951 and immovable assets of 51,75,09,116. Again NCP’s Rajesh Bhaiyya Tope from Gansavangi had total assets of over 53 crores including movable assets of 18,41,14,944 and immovable assets of 35,57,73,372.

Interestingly, INC’s Kadam Vishwajeet Patangrao had highest liabilities too. His liabilities stood at 121 crores. The liabilities of NCP’s Awhad Jitendra Satish who won from Mumbra-Kalwa has liabilities of over 37 crores while INC’s Vijay Namdeorao Wadettiwar who was returned from Bramhapuri had liabilties  totaling over 22 crores (22,22,66,073). As far as top three ministers with high income are concerned, Ajit Anantrao Pawar of NCP declared joint income (self+spouse+dependent) of 3,86,43,721 for 2018-19. His self income as per the ITR was 62,48,786. The source of income is business and agriculture. Amit Vilasrao Deshm of INC had a joint income of 3,26,67,501 and self-income of 2,18,10,001 for 2018-19 from business and agriculture. Kadam Vishwajeet Patanorao of INC had a joint income of 2,35 ,28,177 and self income of 1,21,18,773 from farming and business for 2018-19.

When it comes to minister’s education 43 per cent (18) ministers have declared their educational qualification to be between class 8th and 12th while 22 ministers or 52 per cent are graduates and above. Also 25 ministers or 60 per cent are in the age group of 51 to 80 years. When it comes to representation of women, there are only three women ministers.