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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Government mulls forceful eviction of ex-ministers

Subhash Pathak, Hindustan Times  Patna, August 27, 2013
First Published: 15:20 IST(27/8/2013) | Last Updated: 15:30 IST(27/8/2013)

With sacked ministers of the BJP refusing to vacate bungalows despite expiry of the deadline, the building construction department is now contemplating forceful eviction.

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As many as 8 out of 11 BJP leaders, who were ministers in the Nitish Kumar government, were served notices to vacate the ministerial bungalows after the JD (U) parted ways with the BJP on June 16. The department had set August 26 as the final deadline for the former ministers to remove all their belongings from the premises.

Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and former road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav were not served notices, as they continued to enjoy the status of cabinet ministers by virtue of being the leader of the opposition in the legislative council and assembly respectively. Former tourism minister Sunil Kumar Pintu was also not served a notice, as he was living in the house allocated from the assembly quota.

Officials said they had prepared a plan to take recourse to forceful eviction, as the former ministers had refused to vacate their houses despite several reminders. "A proposal in this regard has been sent to the departmental minister to apprise him of the state of affairs and seek his direction to take the harsh step," said a senior officer, pleading anonymity.

Besides 8 ministers, this time the department is contemplating to serve notices on Modi and Yadav as well, as they no longer are the cabinet ministers. "The present bungalows are meant only for cabinet ministers and not for those who enjoy the status. We have proposed allotment of the bungalow meant for the opposition leader to Yadav. The present occupant, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, will be relocated," said the official, adding the course of action would be finalised by this weekend.

Building construction minister Damodar Raut evaded a direct reply on the issue, saying that they were all senior leaders experienced in governance matters. "They are well aware of the rules, which have been made years ago. I have nothing to say except that the law will take its own course," Raut said.

Meanwhile, former health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, said he would not move out of his bungalow until the government made an alternative arrangement. No other ministers could be contacted for their comments, even as their supporters said they had no plan to vacate their respective houses in near future.


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