BJP Headquarters, Kachi Chawni, Jammu, 13th March, 2016 – While addressing a press-conference at party headquarters at Jammu, B.J.P. MLAs – Dr. Gagan Bhagat, Mr. Dina Nath Bhagat and Mr. R. S. Pathania – have termed the government’s decision to ask former minister in BJP-PDP coalition to vacate forthwith their ministerial bungalows, as a step in right direction. It is good that government is enforcing rules and SOPs in vogue but the application of rules/SOPs should be uniform and impartial. The maxim goes, “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion”.
While accusing Estates Deptt of pick-and-choose, they have alleged ‘oblique motives’ behind the move as scores of ‘allottees’ are still occupying their official bungalows allotted to them as ministers/legislators since years and years after they cease to be such ministers/legislators in capacity whereof these accommodations were allotted to them. For instance, Mr. Harshdev Singh, was allotted a resplendent ministerial bungalow in Gandhi Nagar in 2002 in his capacity as Education minister. Mr. Singh has ceased to be a minister twelve years back and even then he is enjoying the accommodation without any let, hindrance or eviction proceedings from the side of Estates Deptt. Same is the tell-tale of Ajay Sadhotra, Mohd. Ramzan, Yogesh Sawhney, who cease to be ministers since years back but Estates Deptt. has not even issued a simple notice to them. Similarly, Mr. Balwant Singh Mankotia, Prof Bhim Singh, Manjeet Singh and a score of other people are occupying their accommodations years and years after they have ceased to be legislators.
And another side of the coin is that BJP MLAs, elected to office since more than an year – Mr. Rajiv Sharma, Dr. Krishan Lal Bhagat, Mr. Dina Nath Bhagat, Mr. Kuldeep Kumar, Mr. Jivan Lal – are still without official accommodation and unauthorized occupants still call the shots with the active connivance and support of Estates Deptt .
They have further accused the Estates Deptt. of behaving and with two yardsticks – one for its blue-eyed favourites and other for BJP. The MLAs present in the press-conference have further expressed their resentment over the way eviction notice has been pasted on the wall of house of a senior former minister of BJP and its photo deliberately made viral on internet and published in a leading national newspaper too. They have sought a detailed fact-finding inquiry into the episode as to why a selective witch-hunt has been carried out. And further that what is the stand of government regarding unauthorized/defaulting occupants.