JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has landed in a controversy over retaining two official bungalows for herself.
The Rajasthan High Court, while hearing a petition on this issue, asked the advocate general to ensure that Raje designated one of the houses as her official residence so that the other bungalow could be used for other official purposes.
Raje has possession of two bungalows in Jaipur’s prestigious Civil Lines area. As per official records, the allotted residence of the Chief Minister has traditionally been 8, Civil Lines, but since she came back to power in December 2013, Raje has been retaining 13, Civil Lines as her official residence.
The house was allotted to Raje in 2008 as a former chief minister, but after she took charge as the Chief Minister in 2013, she refused to move to 8, Civil Lines, which remains under her control.
Though the Rajasthan High Court has said that both Raje and her predecessor Ashok Gehlot are eligible for official residences, Raje’s control over two bungalows has created a furore in political circles.
Former BJP leader and the chief of the newly founded Bharat Vahini Party, Ghanshyam Tiwari, says Raje had got the Rajasthan Ministers’ Salaries (Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed last year only because the Chief Minister wanted to keep 13, Civil Lines as her residence for life.
“The High Court order is a defeat for CM Vasundhra Raje in both ways, whether she vacates the bungalow or declares it as the official CM house,” said Tiwari.