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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Furore forces CM to ditch move to twin bungalows

Neelam Pandey , Hindustan Times  New Delhi , January 04, 2014
First Published: 23:11 IST(4/1/2014) | Last Updated: 15:17 IST(5/1/2014)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will not move into the twin bungalows allotted to him on Friday following an uproar over the not-so austere accommodation.

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Till a new house was found, Kejriwal, who after being sworn in had said that none of his ministers would live in bungalows, said Saturday he would continue to live and work from his Kaushambi house in neighbouring Ghaziabad.

“There is a lot of controversy over the new house I’m shifting in. My friends and supporters told me not to opt for the house and after that I decided not to take up the duplex,” the CM said on Sunday.

But his changing stance has raised eyebrows. The repair work on the twin four–bedroom duplexes on Bhagwan Das Road was abruptly stopped on Saturday, with people questioning the waste of money. “So public money spent on renovating it for him wasted,” read a tweet.

Government quarters on Pandara Road and Mandir Marg in the heart of the city were being looked at possible alternatives as Kejriwal was keen on staying within his New Delhi constituency, sources said.

Though a number of accommodations were available, but they were looking at two houses that were not too far off, if not adjacent -- a task which was proving difficult, sources said.  "I would need to have two adjacent houses, one of them as an office. Else I would become ineffective," Kejriwal had tweeted.

The public works department (PWD) and general administration department are the ones tasked with finding a suitable house for the CM.

“We have come to cleanse politics. Like Caesar’s wife we have to be above suspicion and we have to subject ourselves to scrutiny,” Kejriwal said.

They were now looking for a smaller house, probably a three-bedroom set, PWD minister Manish Sisodia said. “But nothing is final as of now.”

Kejriwal was allotted two DDA bungalows, one of which was to be his office. Political opponents criticised the CM, who has been talking of putting an end to Delhi’s ‘VIP culture’, for taking up the twin houses even after saying he would not opt for a huge house.


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