House wish quandary for resident minister

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  • Published 28.07.10

Patna, July 27: Bihar co-operative minister Giriraj Singh was recently in the news for locking horns with chief minister Nitish Kumar over the Narendra Modi issue.

The BJP minister is again in the news: this time for treading a path that could lead to a confrontation with fellow partyman and state Legislative Council chairman Tarakant Jha over occupying a government house.

The minister, at present, resides at 2 Circular Road, a house which officially stands earmarked for the chairman of the Legislative Council.

Jabir Hussein, the Legislative Council chairman during the Lalu-Rabri regime, was the occupant of this sprawling two-storied bungalow off Bailey Road. In course of his tenure, Hussein issued a notification “earmarking” this house for the chairman.

Arun Kumar replaced Hussein as the acting chairman of the council after Nitish took over as chief minister in November 2005. Hussein subsequently got elected to the Rajya Sabha and demitted office here. Arun Kumar was then allotted this house.

But the new Legislative Council chairman never occupied his official residence and instead verbally handed over the house to Giriraj Singh, who occupied it after joining the Nitish cabinet in 2008.

Now, the building construction department has issued a notice directing the minister (Giriraj) to vacate it for Jha, who became the council’s chairman last year. Jha lives in his private home on Boring Road.

Sources said the notice follows a “wish” expressed by Jha on occupying the house .

Giriraj claimed he had no idea of any such notice. “I will act only when I receive the notice officially,” he said.

Sources, however, revealed that Giriraj is “sore” at the septuagenarian leader of his own party for willing to occupy the bungalow he has decorated tastefully.

Giriraj has got the floor re-done and has also domesticated goats, ducks and cows, besides planting exotic grass on the sprawling campus.

Jha refused to speak when contacted by The Telegraph.