In just three months, the urban development (UD) ministry, on Modi’s insistence has managed to get majority of bungalows occupied by former UPA ministers and MPs vacated.
Where during the previous regime, many ex-ministers and MPs not only managed to hold on to their official accommodation long after relinquishing their charge as ministers but in some cases also got official extension to overstay, the NDA government has refused to entertain any request for extension, including those from their own former party MPs and ministers. Sources said among others requests seeking extension have come from senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh who was expelled from the party early this year.
“While Sinha was told to vacate, Jaswant Singh’s case has been put on hold after he met with an accident recently,” said a source. Both of them were not available for comments.
So far, of the 61 Lutyens’ bungalows occupied by ex-ministers and MPs, only eight have not been vacated. These include Congress’ MM Pallam Raju, Jitendra Singh, Krishna Tirath, Girija Vyas and RLD’s Ajit Singh. Former MPs who are yet to vacate their house include Congress’ Mohd. Azharuddin, Vijay Inder Singla and Samajwadi Party’s Neeraj Sekhar, son of former PM Chandra Sekhar.
The government might be doing its job but many former MPs and ministers are piqued by the government’s haste to get the bungalows vacated. Former Congress MP from Sangrur (Punjab), Vijay Inder Singla told HT, “My mother had to undergo breast cancer operation in May and I had sought some more time to vacate the house. I even met the UD minister but was refused an extension.”
Former aviation minister Ajit Singh said, “I have taken a house on rent and once its renovated I will vacate the bungalow.” Former housing minister Girija Vyas claimed she has already vacated her house 10 days back. “The government is doing its job but they should not humiliate former ministers by sending repeated eviction notices,” Vyas told HT from Udaipur.