| The Hardinge Road bungalow alloted to cooperative minister Jai Kumar Singh. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Cooperative minister Jai Kumar Singh has refused to shift to the new bungalow allotted to him.
Jai recently raised this issue before the building construction department but officials refused to do much, claiming that their hands were tied.
Jai has been allotted 36-A Hardinge Road, earlier occupied by BJP leader Ramadhar Singh. However, the first-time minister, who represents the Dinara Assembly seat, has expressed his reservation on moving into the bungalow.
According to Jai, this was the “worst ministerial bungalow”. Jai told The Telegraph: “I have seen the condition of the bungalow and it is in very poor shape. Compared to the other bungalows, allotted to other ministers, this one is really small as it does not have a campus.”
About the reason for not shifting to the allotted bungalow, Jai, who stays at 02 Sales Tax Aawas, Chajjubagh, said: “Being a senior leader and I do not deserve such a bungalow. I receive plenty of visitors everyday from my constituency and need good space. I am not going to shift unless I am allotted a new bungalow.”
On June 12, the building construction department allotted bungalows to 17 new ministers of the Jitan Ram Manjhi government.
The “bigger bungalows” include 5 Polo Road (for road construction minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh), 15 Circular Road (for social welfare minister Lesi Singh) and 3 Circular Road (for health minister Ram Dhani Singh). Jai demanded the allotment of 12-M Strand Road bungalow where the chief minister is staying.
“At present, I can see only the chief minister’s bungalow in good shape. It will be empty once he shifts to his official residence at 1 Aney Marg,” said Jai.
Preferring anonymity, a senior official of the building construction department said: “We have told the minister that the department will renovate the bungalow and provide all ministerial facilities there. We cannot change it because the bungalow has been allotted to him after the chief minister’s approval.”
On the other hand, Manjhi is all set to shift to 1 Aney Marg after June 19. An official at the chief minister’s secretariat said: “Manjhi will shift once the Rajya Sabha by-election gets over. He has not suggested any change in the interiors of the official residence as everything was well-maintained by Nitish Kumar.”