Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that he would be vacating the three-bedroom government accommodation in the heart of Delhi at Tilak Lane. Kejriwal is now moving into house of Naren Jain in Civil Lines area. Jain is son of late freedom fighter and social activist Bhiku Ram Jain who was also a former Congress MP. Kejriwal, who had resigned as Delhi chief minister, had resigned in mid-February but he continued to stay there. When he was served a notice to vacate it, he had sought extension till the board examinations of his daughter were over. He was paying a rent of around Rs 85,000 per month with the help of his friends who were donating the amount. Kejriwal had permission to stay till end of July but he wanted to move prior to that and thus from several weeks were doing extensive search for it. “It would take another 15 days or so before he moves in as the house was closed from over 13 years and thus requires extensive repair work,” AAP sources said. AAP supporters, meanwhile, were taking a dig at other political leaders stating that will the NDA government now ask the other political leaders “over staying” at these government bungalows to vacate.
Former union ministers like A Raja, Mukul Roy, SM Krishna, Pawan Kumar Bansal, CP Joshi are among the list of 22 ex-ministers who are occupying big ministerial bungalows in the VIP Lutyens Zone long after their stay had officially ended.
This information was revealed in reply (on April 9, 2014) to a RTI application filed by activist SC Agrawal who had sought information on the subject.
Prominent oldest names among the list of the 22 MPs are former telecom minister A Raja embroiled in 2G scam, who has been occupying it since November 2010, and former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran who is holding on to the property since July 2011.
“A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran want more time for vacating the place,” union urban development ministry sources said.
Besides them, leaders like Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Congress’s Buta Singh are also enjoying the extended stay at the VIP properties due to special concessions meted out to them by the UPA government in contravention to a Supreme Court judgement.
While Lalu’s case was cleared on grounds of his diabetic and cardiac treatment at AIIMS, Buta Singh’s case was cleared by urban development minister Kamal Nath after a letter by PM Manmohan Singh was received that highlighted Buta Singh’s application seeking bungalow on grounds of threat as he enjoys z+ security.
These politicians are mostly occupying plush type VII and type VIII bungalows which are among the largest government accommodations. They usually have eight bedrooms, four servant quarters, two garages with front and back lawns too.
Other names who figured in the list were former foreign minister SM Krishna, Mukul Wasnik, Subodh Kant Sahay, Harish Rawat, CP Joshi, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Dinesh Trivedi, Mukul Roy, Saugata Roy, Vincent H Pala and Agatha Sangma among others.
Meanwhile, Union Minister during UPA like Salman Khurshid, Sushilkumar Shinde and AK Antony has already vacated the house. Shinde was the first one to do so as he vacated within a week of formation of the new government.
However, Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit, Kapil Sibal have asked for an extension. BJP’s former MP Yashwant Sinha has also written to new Urban Development Minsiter Venkaiah Naidu asking for a six months extension.