Eighteen of the 31 ministers in Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s government have criminal cases registered against them, according to an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Election Watch report based on affidavits of 28 of them. As many as 14 of the ministers face serious criminal cases.

wo ministers, Ashok Choudhary and Janak Ram, so far are not members of the state legislature and hence their details are unavailable. The affidavit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Ram Surat Kumar was incomplete on the Election Commission’s website and was not analysed.

Eleven of the 14 ministers (79%) belong to the BJP. Four Janata Dal-United ministers face criminal cases. Three others – one each from the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), Vikassheel Insaan Party, and an independent – also have serious criminal cases pending against them.

An earlier analysis of ADR & Election Watch found 163 (68%) of the 241 newly elected assembly members in the state face criminal cases like the attempt to murder. Out of 243 lawmakers elected in 2015, 142 (58%) had criminal cases registered against them.

Twenty-six out of the 28 ministers (93%) have average assets of Rs4.46 crore. Water resources minister Sanjay Kumar Jha is the richest with assets worth Rs22.37 crore. Jama Khan of the JD-U has the lowest-- Rs30.04 lakh. Eleven ministers are school dropouts, while 16 are graduate or above. Age-wise, 11 ministers are below 50

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