Prime Minister Narendra Modi may wish to have the slogan ”gaon, garib, kisan” as the mascot of his government, but 72 out of his 78 ministers are big-time crorepatis. According to a study by the Delhi-based think tank, another 24 ministers have criminal cases pending against them.
Of the new ministers, journalist-turned-politician M J Akbar, a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, has declared the highest total assets of Rs 44.90 crore followed by P P Choudhary (Rs 35.35 crore) and Vijay Goel (Rs 29.97 crore), both Rajya Sabha members from Rajasthan. No excuses for army excesses.
Anil Madhav Dave, Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh and now Environment Minister, has declared the lowest asset worth Rs 60.97 lakh. Total six ministers have declared assets less than Rs one crore.
In fact, the induction of the new ministers has brought the average asset of the entire council of ministers down to Rs 12.94 crore as the newly-inducted ministers have an average of Rs 8.73 crore. The new ministers with assets over Rs 1 crore include Ramesh Jigajinagi, Purshottam Khodabhai Rupala, Anupriya Singh Patel, Mahendra Nath, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Rajen Gohain, S S Ahluwalia, Arjun Ram Meghwal, C R Choudhary, Mansukhbhai Laxmanbhai Mandaviya and Krishna Raj.
Nine of the total 78 union ministers have declared total assets worth more than Rs 30 crore, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Rs 113 crore), Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Rs 108 crore) and Power Minister Piyush Vedprakash Goyal (Rs 95 crore).
The number of ministers with criminal cases has now gone up to 24 after seven newly-inducted with pending criminal cases.
On the age criteria, the ministry has three representatives aged between 31 to 40 years, 44 are between 41 and 60 years, while 31 are between 61 and 80 years. There are nine women in the ministry. Among all 78 ministers, 14 have declared education qualification of 12th pass or below, while 63 have a qualification of graduation and above.