Re-allotment of bungalows to ex-CMs except Digvijay stokes controversy in Madhya Pradesh
Former state advocate general and Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha has dubbed the CM’s decision as contempt of the Supreme Court. Tankha also said he would file a petition in the SC soon in this regard.Updated: Jul 30, 2018 01:38 IST
The re-allotment of government bungalows to former chief ministers, except Digvijaya Singh of the Congress, by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan using his discretionary powers has stoked a controversy.
Former state advocate general and Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha has dubbed the CM’s decision as contempt of the Supreme Court. Tankha also said he would file a petition in the SC soon in this regard.
“I believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy and principles. Any government should use its largesse for the poor and needy, not for its partymen. I don’t see any logic in any person being given a bungalow for his entire life merely because he has been a chief minister. It’s unethical and unconstitutional and I am personally against it,” said Tankha.
On June 20, a division bench of the high court had held section 5 (1) of the MP Mantri Vetan Tatha Bhatta Adhiniyam,1972, as unconstitutional and passed an order to get the ex-CMs bungalows vacated.
Following the HC order, the state home department cancelled the allotment of bungalows to ex-CMs and intimated the court about the same in the third week of July.
Tankha tweeted on Sunday, “Politics of distributing state largesse must stop. Ex CMs , Ex Min cannot enjoy state patronage forever. CM’s discretion in such allotment not unbridled. Only state necessity or compassionate consideration determines public interest. Abuse of power.”
Earlier, he tweeted, “CM MP commits contempt of court by re-allotting same Govt homes to ex BJP CMs who were asked to vacate by SC.”
On Friday, CM Chouhan had issued an order to re-allot bungalows to former MP chief ministers Kailash Joshi, Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur, as they were “eminent citizens”.
Sources in the government said as Digvijaya Singh did not move any application for re-allotment of any bungalow to him, his name was not considered for the same.
There are four ex-CMs residing in Madhya Pradesh, all in Bhopal. Another ex-CM Motilal Vora who is from Chhattisgarh vacated his bungalow in Bhopal in September 2016.
On his part, Digvijaya Singh made it clear on Sunday that he was not in favour of re-allotment of his bungalow.
He tweeted, “I am a law-abiding citizen. When Hon Supreme Court has decided I have decided to vacate the bungalow. But Shivraj should not act against the Supreme Court order.”
Earlier, when asked by journalists state Congress president Kamal Nath said on Saturday he was in favour of ex-CMs getting bungalows and he would ask Digvijaya Singh to move an application in this regard.
On Vivek Tankha’s comments, state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “Let the Congress leaders first decide as to what they want. Their own state president Kamal Nath is in favour of ex-CMs getting bungalows but Vivek Tankha is singing a different tune. The state government must have looked into all pros and cons before taking the decision.”