‘Ministers should make property details public’
BHOPAL: None of the ministers in Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet has so far made public his property details. Out of 23 ministers, only finance minister Jayant Mallaya had tabled his property details in assembly in 2014. But, no minister has filed it for the fiscal year 2015-16. Madhya Pradesh Election Watch state unit of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said that in the last Vidhan Sabha only 16 ministers had tabled their property details in the assembly. Election Watch is a non-political organisation working for political reforms.
In a letter written to the chief minister on May 31, the watchdog has asked the CM to ensure that the ministers make these property documents public every year. However, speaking to ETRealty(TOI), Narottam Mishra, spokesman of the cabinet, said, “It is not necessary to file property details every year. It can be done once in five years. If there are changes, ministers file property details.” Ten days after sending the letter to Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Election Watch still awaits response from him. “We want it to be made a healthy practice in MP. The chief minister had taken several initiatives. Let him also make it mandatory. So far it is optional and depends on an individual minister whether to make property details public,” said Rolly Shivhare, one of the Election Watch signatories to the letter sent to the chief minister. She said, “Bihar CM has made it mandatory for the ministers and MLAs to make property details public every year. This should be done in MP too.”
This would go a long way towards achieving transparency in public life and help develop a healthy practice of individual’s integrity in public life, said the Election Watch. Members of the watchdog also plan to meet the chief minister and the leader of the opposition to explain the importance of making property documents public.