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Third of Modi's council of ministers faces criminal charges: ADR

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Third of Modis council of ministers faces criminal charges: ADR
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New Delhi: Atleast 30 percent of the ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers have criminal charges against them, think tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said here Monday.

According to ADR, 20 of 64 ministers analysed on the basis of their own declarations face criminal charges, while 92 percent of the ministers are multi-millionaires.

An ADR statement said affidavits of 64 of 66 ministers (including Modi) had been analysed and details of union ministers Suresh Prabhu and Birendra Singh had not been scrutinised as they were not yet members of either house.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley however said any suggestions there were criminals in the cabinet were "completely baseless".

"These are cases arising out of criminal accusations, not cases out of a crime," Jaitley told reporters on Monday, adding that the prime minister had personally vetted the new ministers.

According to ADR, 11 (17 percent) ministers have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to attempt to murder, communal disharmony, and electoral violations.

Of the 21 newly inducted ministers, eight have declared criminal cases.

"Ramshankar Katheria from Agra constituency has declared a case related to attempt to murder. Among the rest of the ministers, Uma Bharti from Jhansi of BJP had also declared a case related to attempt to murder," the statement added.

The release said that among the newly inducted ministers, Y.S. Chowdary, Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh belonging to Telugu Desam Party, had declared the highest total assets of Rs. 189.69 crore followed by Jayant Sinha (BJP) from Hazaribagh with assets worth Rs.55.67 crore and Mahesh Sharma (BJP) from Gautam Budhha Nagar with total assets worth Rs.47.37 crore.

The average assets size of the newly-inducted ministers is Rs.18.48 crore. In totality, the average assets size per minister is Rs.14.25 crore, the release added.

Of the 64 ministers, 59 are multi millionaires.

The highest increase in assets has been declared by Sharma, owner of a hospital chain in UP. The assets of Sharma rose by Rs.31.52 crore from Rs.15.85 crores as Lok Sabha MP in 2009 to Rs 47.37 crores in 2014.

Chowdary declared the highest total assets of Rs.189.69 crores followed by Sinha with assets worth Rs.55.67 crores and Sharma with total assets worth Rs.47.37 crores.

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