Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s regime has delved into the Bihar Contingency Fund to bail former governor Buta Singh out of a financial mess he has landed in as a private citizen.
The government has ordered the withdrawal of Rs 3.13 lakh from the BCF to pick up the tabs for ‘penal rent’ imposed on Singh for illegally occupying a bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi for 20 months, from March 2004 to November 2005.
This payment has been ‘regularised’ by making a provision of Rs 3.13 lakh in Bihar’s Third Supplementary Budget of 2009-10, which was passed by the state Assembly earlier this week.
“Additional money is required to pay penal rent for former governor’s Bungalow No. 9, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. The amount has been paid by drawing an advance from the BCF,” reads an entry in the budget document.
The bungalow in question had remained in the occupation of Buta Singh during his tenure as governor of Bihar, from November 2004 to January 2006, an enquiry by Hindustan Times confirmed.
Buta was an authorised occupant of the Lodhi Estate bungalow as a Lok Sabha member and a union cabinet minister. But he continued to hold on to it even after he became governor of Bihar on November 5, 2004.
“The payment was cleared by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in deference to the dignity of the high office of the governor that Buta Singh once held,” a government functionary told HT.