Over 100 former Bihar legislators to vacate bungalows

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

PATNA - It has been less than a month since the Bihar assembly election results were declared, but the trappings of power for those who lost are already fading away. More than 100 former legislators are set to vacate their official residences and return the laptops issued to them by the government.

They have also been asked to return their identity cards provided by the assembly five years ago.

An official in chief minister’s office told IANS that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed Building Construction Minister Damodar Rawat to immediately provide residences to all new legislators, including 110 new faces in the Bihar assembly.

“It was a clear message that former legislators have to vacate their official residences without delay, unlike in the past,” the official said.

The state government is likely to issue notices to them by next month to get the houses allotted to them vacated.

Most of the former legislators who were defeated in the polls, belong to the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Left parties and Independents.

Former chief minister Rabri Devi, who was leader of opposition in the last state assembly, was defeated from Raghopur and Sonepur assembly seats and no more entitled to the official residence of leader of the opposition, officials said.

But Rabri and her husband, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, are entitled to a bungalow as they were former chief ministers.

“A law was passed by Lalu Prasad when he headed the government that a former chief minister is entitled to a government accommodation in the state capital,” a government official said.

Some well-known faces of the RJD, Congress and Left parties, who lost the polls and will have to lose their bungalows include former minister Shakil Ahmad Khan, Ram Chandra Purve and Ashok Kumar.

There are also some leaders in the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who may have to vacate their bungalows.

Despite the historic victory of the JD-U and BJP, five legislators of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), who lost despite being ministers in the last assembly polls, have to vacate the official residences.

Official sources said the assembly secretariat has asked the former legislators to return the laptops and related accessories issued to them.

“They were told at the time of issue of laptops that if not re-elected to the assembly, they would have to return them,” an official said.

The NDA bagged 206 of 243 seats - the JD-U upped its tally from 88 in 2005 to 115 now, and the BJP increased its numbers from 55 to 91. The RJD won only 22 seats followed by Congress, four, and the LJP, three seats.

Filed under: Politics

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