34 ministers don't want you to know their assets

Sep 06, 2011, 07:03 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

Only 3 out of 37 ministers in the state, including Home Minister RR Patil, have adhered to Sonia Gandhi's diktat of making public their assets by August 31

Only 3 out of 37 ministers in the state, including Home Minister RR Patil, have adhered to Sonia Gandhi's diktat of making public their assets by August 31

A few years back, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had issued a diktat to party ministers at the centre to announce their properties and assets.
Following that, PM Manmohan Singh directed all the chief ministers to seek such details from their cabinet colleagues.

But in the state, the list of exceptions runs up to 33 of 37 ministers in the cabinet, who have not submitted their business interests and partnerships or those of their children, sources said.

According to sources within the ruling Democratic Front government, only two Ministers and one Minister of State have adhered to the deadline of August 31, 2011 for the submission.

The rest have chosen to ignore it, considering that the edict lacks any legal backing.
None of the chief ministers, including Vilasrao Deshmukh who held the position when the directive first came, insisted that his colleagues adhere to it.

"The practice to make assets public wasn't there earlier.

RR Patil, Ranjit Kamble and Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar

But now that the PM has decided to make the details available on his official website, the same yardstick could be applied by CM Prithviraj Chavan, his former colleague at PMO," said a senior government functionary from the ruling Congress-NCP combine.
It is unclear whether the CM, answerable to the PM over the particular diktat, has followed it.

Three's not a crowd
The functionary said further, "Those who declared the assets include Home Minister RR Patil, Minister for Water Resources (Krishna Valley) Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, and PWD Minister of State Ranjit Kamble."

With both Patil and Nimbalkar belonging to the NCP, Kamble becomes the only Congressman in the state to have toed the party line.

Sources also said Public Health Minister Suresh Shetty may have joined the league, as he was one of the regulars to submit his details every year.

According to sources within the ruling Democratic Front
government, PWD Minister of State Ranjit Kamble is the
only Congressman to toe the party's line

Known as Mr Clean, Patil is believed to have submitted his details. Though his track record as home minister has been marred with 26/11 and 13/7 terror attacks, he has been praised by social activist Anna Hazare on several occasions.

Patil's NCP colleague Nimbalkar too maintains cordial relations with Hazare. On a number of occasions he has played a key negotiator with him on behalf of the state government.

Kamble is the nephew of late Congress stalwart Prabha Rau, who had served as minister, MPCC chief, and Himachal Pradesh governor. Rau promoted Ranjit as her political heir to represent Deoli in Wardha district. The minister did his MBA in the US.

Richest & poorest
In Parliament, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (in pic) is the richest in the Lok Sabha. During the Kadapa by-polls in May, Jagan had declared assets worth Rs 365 crore, giving him the distinction of being the wealthiest MP in India. His ascent was attention grabbing, considering that his assets in 2009 were worth only Rs 77 crore.

The next in line of richest MP in the Parliament are : Namma Nageswara Rao of TDP worth Rs 173 crores and T Subbirami Reddy worth Rs 239.6 crore.

On the other end of the spectrum is Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily, who has assets of only Rs 13.34 lakh and does not own any immmovable property. He is the poorest when it comes to total assets

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assets worth Rs 5.11 crore

Centre aligned
Including the PM, most of his Cabinet colleagues have submitted their property details, which are available on the PMO's website. The UPA cabinet followed President Pratibha Patil who recently made her list of properties and assets public, the first one to do so, even before the PM.

The Other Side
When this newspaper tried to elicit response from a few ministers, they refused to respond, saying it was the CM's prerogative to know the details. Efforts to contact the CM failed, as he was busy attending a function at Aurangabad.

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