Four out of 17 Gujarat ministers face criminal cases, 16 are `crorepati’


PTI, Dec 13, 2022, 4:10 PM IST

PTI Photo for representation

Four out of the 17 ministers in the new BJP government in Gujarat face criminal cases, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said.

As many as 16 ministers including Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel are `crorepatis’ or own assets worth Rs 1 crore or more, it said.

The new council of ministers was sworn in on Monday following the BJP’s landslide victory in the Assembly elections.

Minister of State for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Parshottam Solanki faces two charges of cheating and dishonesty under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, one charge of `forgery of valuable security’ under section 467 and one charge of forgery under section 465, the ADR report said.

Three other ministers — Harsh Sanghavi, Rushikesh Patel and Raghavji Patel — face relatively minor charges such as disobedience of order passed by public servant under IPC section 188 and defamation under section 500, among others.

ADR, which works for electoral reforms, said the report is based on self-sworn affidavits of MLAs.

Average assets of ministers are Rs 32.7 crore, against Rs 3.95 crore for the previous 25-member ministry.

Minister with the highest declared assets is Balvantsinh Rajput. He owns assets worth Rs. 372.65 crore, the report said.

Bachubhai Khabad has the lowest declared assets of Rs 92.85 lakh.

Six ministers have studied between 8th and 12th standard, eight ministers have completed graduation or post-graduation, and three ministers are diploma-holders.

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel (60) holds a diploma in civil engineering.

Three ministers are below 50 years of age. Harsh Sanghvi (37) happens to be the youngest member of the council of ministers while Kanubhai Desai, 71, is the senior-most member.

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