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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Bihar government imposes penalties on ex-ministers for not vacating houses

Former deputy CM Renu Devi and ex-ministers — Alok Ranjan, Ramsurat Kumar, Jibesh Kumar and Janak Ram — are among BJP legislators penalised by building construction department

PTI Patna Published 13.07.23, 06:12 AM
Nitish Kumar.

Nitish Kumar. PTI file picture

The Bihar government has imposed penalties on several BJP MLAs, who held ministerial berths in the previous NDA dispensation in the state, for “overstaying” at bungalows meant for ministers, even after allotment of houses to them as legislators, an official said on Wednesday.

Former deputy chief minister Renu Devi and ex-ministers — Alok Ranjan, Ramsurat Kumar, Jibesh Kumar and Janak Ram — are among the BJP legislators who were penalised by the building construction department.

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All senior BJP MLAs and former ministers, who have been imposed fines, have written letters to chief minister Nitish Kumar, building construction department minister Ashok Choudhary and the Bihar Assembly secretariat, terming the penalty as ‘unjustified’.

A penalty of Rs 1.26 lakh was imposed on Devi, while Ranjan was asked to submit Rs 1.67 lakh, Ramsurat Rs 90,928, Jibesh Rs 1.29 lakh, and Ram Rs 65,922.

These former ministers were told to vacate ministerial bungalows after JD(U) supremo Nitish Kumar dumped the BJP to form the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government in the state with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and other allies in August last year, the official said.

“The penalty of Rs 1.67 lakh that has been slapped is simply unjustified. I was told to vacate the ministerial bungalow (33, Harding Road) in November 2022 by the building construction department… but it did not provide any alternative house that is meant for the MLA at that time. I informed the departmentin this regard,” senior BJP leader and former minister of the art, culture and youth department, Alok Ranjan, told PTI.

Ranjan also claimed that he vacated the ministerial bungalow immediately after a new house was allotted to him as an MLA.

“The penalty is unjustified as overstaying at the ministerial bungalow for a few days was not a fault on my part. I have requested the chief minister and Bihar building construction minister Ashok Choudhary to withdraw the penalty as it has been done earlier,” he said.

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