PATNA: The drama over official bungalows in the Bihar capital is turning more intriguing. While the Patna High Court’s rap prompted the state government to allot the second bungalow in possession of CM Nitish Kumar to the chief secretary, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has shifted to a new building hoping to occupy the plush bungalow where Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav lives.
Bihar’s building construction minister Maheshwar Hazari said on Wednesday that the 7, Circular Road bungalow allotted to Nitish Kumar in 2016 as a second home has been earmarked for state chief secretary Deepak Kumar. The CM, who lives at his official bungalow at 1, Anne Marg, would, however, continue to have the second bungalow with him for a few months more.
The HC had issued a notice to the state government on Tuesday questioning the allotment of official bungalows to former Bihar chief ministers for lifetime. Nitish Kumar and four former CMs have been allotted bungalows for lifetime in Patna after the government amended a law in March 2016.
“Since retrofitting work is in progress at the 1, Anne Marg bungalow, the chief minister would continue to occupy the 7, Circular Road bungalow, which has now been earmarked for the chief secretary,” said Hazari. The retrofitting work would enhance the life of the British-era 1, Anne Marg building by 100 more years, he added.
Encouraged by the HC’s refusal to let Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav of RJD retain his plush official bungalow at 5, Desh Ratna Marg, Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday shifted from his 1, Polo Road bungalow to 25-A, Hardinge Road. The 1, Polo Road bungalow has been earmarked for former deputy chief ministers while the 5, Desh Ratna Marg bungalow has been earmarked for serving deputy chief ministers.
“I hope he (Yadav) would abide by the court’s decision and vacate the bungalow soon. I vacated the building so that he could move in,” said Modi.
Yadav, who was allotted the 5, Desh Ratna Marg bungalow when he served as deputy chief minister for 20 months till July 2017, is unlikely to vacate it as he plans to appeal in the Supreme Court. RJD leaders have dubbed the state government’s insistence on his vacating the bungalow as “vindictive politics”.
“When Nitish Kumar will continue to retain his second bungalow, the government’s order earmarking it for the chief secretary is mere eyewash. Bihar’s people know this government’s vindictive politics too well,” said Yadav’s elder brother and former minister Tej Pratap Yadav.