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Squatter minister ticked off

Ranchi, March 3: Assembly Speaker today directed the state’s parliamentary affairs minister to ensure his cabinet colleague Yogendra Sao gave up the house allotted to him as an MLA at the earliest.

Minister Rajendra Prasad Singh assured Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta that he would impress upon Sao, the agriculture minister, to do his bidding within 24 hours since he had already moved in to his ministerial accommodation but was holding on to the earlier house.

The matter came up in the Assembly today on the basis of a complaint by JVM member Satyendra Nath Tiwari who said he, his bodyguards and personal staff were finding it extremely inconvenient to operate out of the Assembly guest house.

Sao is known to get possessive about official accommodation. Last year, he entered the house of former chief secretary S.K. Choudhary forcibly after he was allotted that house. He even flatly turned down Choudhary’s request to wait for a few more days till such time renovation work on his new accommodation was completed.

Today, the Speaker also took strong exception to DGP Rajeev Kumar’s absence from the Assembly while the Opposition demanded that a privilege motion be initiated against him.

When they alleged the DGP was ignoring the House protocol manual for security, Bhokta directed the government to table a full report on the security protocol of MLAs.

Opposition MLAs alleged that the government was shielding former DGP G.S. Rath in the context of irregularities in appointment of police sub-inspectors during his tenure.

“If the government in its reply is accepting that a three-member inquiry committee report against Rath is pending for consideration than why he is not being taken to task,” argued JVM legislature party leader Pradeep Yadav who raised the matter.

Chief minister Hemant Soren said the state government would not enact new laws and set up new courts to investigate unaccounted for wealth of bureaucrats as the vigilance bureau was already doing that job.

His clarification came after JVM legislature party leader Pradip Yadav posed a question on whether the state intended to enact new laws and set up special courts to curb corruption.