PATNA: In a setback to Bihar’s Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, Patna High Court on Monday rejected his petition challenging the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government’s order asking him to vacate the plush bungalow he has been occupying since the time he was the deputy chief minister.
A division bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice AP Shahi and Justice Anjana Mishra upheld the order passed on the matter by a single-bench on October 6 last. Even when Yadav’s appeal against the order by Justice Jyoti Sharan was pending with the HC, the state government had made an abortive bid to evict the RJD leader from his official bungalow in Patna, prompting the Opposition parties to accuse the government of practising “vendetta politics”.
Yadav, who is the younger son of jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, has been persistently refusing to vacate the spacious government bungalow at 5, Desh Ratna Marg in Patna that was allotted to him as deputy chief minister in 2015. Soon after the Grand Alliance government comprising RJD, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Congress collapsed in July 2017 and NDA returned to power, the new regime had asked Tejashwi to vacate the bungalow.
“The government’s order for vacating the bungalow was found justified by both the single-judge and double-judge benches. The court found no merit in the petitioner’s contentions,” said Bihar’s advocate general Lalit Kishore.
Even though the state government earlier allotted the bungalow at 1, Polo Road for Tejashwi Yadav, he has been refusing to shift to that bungalow, where current deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP has been residing. When Tejashwi was deputy chief minister in the 20-month Grand Alliance government, he had reportedly renovated the 5, Desh Ratna Marg bungalow as per his taste. Incidentally, this bungalow is a few metres away from from the Raj Bhavan and the chief minister’s official residence.
RJD cried hoarse over the judicial development and said it would be challenged in the apex court. The party also accused the state’s NDA government of using the bungalow as a means to humiliate Tejashwi Yadav, who is the Grand Alliance’s chief ministerial candidate for Bihar’s Assembly polls slated for next year.
“Nitish Kumar deliberately engaged in this game over the bungalow to humiliate Tejashwi Yadav. We will appeal against the order in the apex court. The state government’s order is unjust,” said RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari.