New Delhi

A total of 31 ministers were inducted into Bihar’s cabinet on Tuesday.

More than 70% of newly sworn in ministers in Bihar have declared criminal charges against themselves, voting rights body ADR said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav also have cases registered against them.

Kumar, who recently dumped the BJP and joined forces with the RJD to form the Bihar government, expanded his new cabinet on Tuesday by inducting 31 new ministers. Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav were sworn in earlier on August 10.

Following the reconstitution of the Bihar Council of Ministers, the Association for Democratic Reforms and the Bihar Election Observatory analyzed the sworn affidavits of 32 of the 33 ministers, including the chief minister, submitted during the elections of 2020 to the Assembly.

A Cabinet Minister, Ashok Chaudhary of JD(U), who is an appointed member of the Legislative Council, is not required to submit his affidavit, hence his information on criminal, financial and other details is not available in the public domain, the ADR says in its report.

According to the report, 23 ministers (72%) declared criminal charges against themselves and 17 ministers (53%) declared serious criminal charges against themselves. Of the 32 ministers, 27 (84%) are crorepatis and the average assets of the 32 ministers analyzed are ₹5.82 crore.

The minister with the highest declared total assets is Samir Kumar Mahaseth of Madhubani constituency with assets worth ₹24.45 crore and the minister with the lowest declared total assets is Murari Prasad Gautam of Chenari Constituency (SC) with assets worth ₹17.66 lakh.

A total of 23 ministers declared financial liabilities. The minister with the highest liabilities is Lalit Kumar Yadav from rural Darbhanga constituency at ₹2.35 crore.

Eight ministers (25%) said their level of education was between 8th and 12th level, while 24 (75%) said they had a higher or higher level of education. A total of 17 ministers said their ages were between 30 and 50, while 15 said they were between 51 and 75.

The Council of Ministers has three women. On the Council of Ministers, 11 are from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), 16 from RJD, two from Congress and one from former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, in addition to one independent.

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