Maha ministers flout CM order on declaring assets
Mumbai: At a time when the lavish wedding of a Maharashtra minister's children has come under the scanner, it now emerges that almost half the ministers in the state Congress-NCP government have flouted Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's directive to declare assets.
NCP minister Bhaskar Jadhav has come under scrutiny following the recent lavish weddings of his children at Chiplun, leading to reprimand by party chief Sharad Pawar and prompting the Income Tax department to conduct searches at his properties.
Despite a directive from Chavan, first in 2010 and another in 2011, only 55 per cent of Maharashtra ministers have declared their assets so far, an RTI query has revealed.
In December 2010, Chavan had asked his ministers to declare their assets and liabilities. In April 2011, he sent a reminder but so far, only 22 out of the 40 ministers in the state ministry have given details of their assets to the chief minister's office, RTI activist Anil Galgali said.
Galgali had sought details of the ministers and assets declared by them to the CM's office. Under secretary and Public Information officer P P Gosavi informed him that only 22 ministers have declared their assets.
Prominent among those failing to declare their assets are Industry Minister Narayan Rane, Home Minister R R Patil, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil and Cooperation and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil.
Bhaskar Jadhav, who holds the urban development portfolio as minister of state, has also not declared his assets, Galgali said.
Those who have declared assets include Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Forest Minister Pantangrao Kadam, Water Resources Minister Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar and School Education Minister Rajendra Darda.