| The bungalow of former urban development minister Prem Kumar. He has to vacate it in a week. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, Aug. 30: Six former BJP ministers now have only a week to look for private accommodation after eviction from the ministerial bungalows allotted to them in the NDA government.
The move of the government has not gone down well with the BJP leaders fuelling criticism of chief minister Nitish Kumar and Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary for creating problems for them. Chaudhary has expressed his helplessness to allot houses for the former ministers, saying there were no vacant houses in his pool.
Ministers are allotted houses by the building construction department, while MLAs are allotted residences from the Speaker’s pool.
A former minister and the BJP MLA from Gaya town Assembly seat, Prem Kumar, said: “I am ready to leave the house within 48 hours but the government must allot me another house. I am not interested in staying over here but I can’t stay on the road. It is the duty of the government or the Speaker to allot me a house.”
He alleged that the government was harassing the BJP leaders.
“Where will I find a decent house within a week? I am not alone. I have my security guards and other employees. The government is harassing us intentionally. I will advise Nitish to expand the cabinet and let the new ministers stay in the ministerial bungalow and we will shift into their houses,” he said.
Kumar, a six-time MLA stays at 3, Circular Road bungalow.
The building construction department has served notice to eight former BJP ministers. However, former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, have been exempted as they enjoy the rank of cabinet ministers. Former tourism minister Sunil Kumar is already staying at an Assembly pool house at 3, Bandar Bageecha.
A senior official of the department said: “We have given them a week’s time to find other house, as they are no more entitled to stay in ministerial bungalows. They have to vacate by themselves or else it will be done under supervision of the district magistrate.”
Another former BJP minister and an MLA from Chhapra Assembly seat Janardhan Singh Sigriwal, staying at 22/10 Bailey Road bungalow said: “Instead of giving a proper house to the former ministers, they are making an issue out of it. There is a rule in the Assembly that a three-time MLA gets an ‘A’ category house but we are being treated as first-time legislators.”
Sigriwal alleged: “There are 31 such bungalows in Patna which could be easily allotted to former ministers but the government is not doing so. They want us to suffer and roam around the city in search of rented houses.”
It is the duty of the Speaker to allot the house to the former BJP ministers. Till the time they do not get any, Rs 28,500 will be given to them as house rent. “At present there is no house with the Assembly pool and the government is providing them Rs 28,500 to rent a proper house. They are no more minister and they have to vacate the bungalows,” said Chaudhary.