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7 chief ministers got bungalows in Lutyens' Delhi, RTI reveals
TIWN Dec 28, 2018
7 chief ministers got bungalows in Lutyens' Delhi, RTI reveals
PHOTO : TIWN File Photo : Tripura CM Biplab Deb.

AGARTALA / NEW DELHI, Dec 28 (INDIA TODAY / TIWN): On the ground that his spouse and children would continue to stay in New Delhi and it would be necessary to have appropriate government accommodation for them, from the security point of few", reported India Today.

That is the reason Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb has been allotted 6, Talkatora Road in Delhi. 6, Talkotra Roat is a posh, type VI B Lutyen's Bungalow that was allocated to Deb on 24 April 2018 "on the vacation basis".

The bungalow, like many others, is part of the Lutyen's Bungalow Zone (LBZ), a prized collection of real estate in the central capital that is home to the who's who of Indian politics.

The central government plays a role in allocating these bungalows and the current NDA government claims to have adopted a strict policy to reject requests from politicians or officials to extend their stay.

The government claims that the number of houses vacated has increased under the Modi government. But is government really tough in allocating bungalows? Has it allocated any to people considered close to the government?

To find out how many chief ministers, who are supposed to stay in their home states, have been given bungalow in Lutyens Delhi, India Today filed a Right to Information (RTI) application with the Urban Development Ministry of the Government of India. Here is the response we got from the government:

NAME: K CHANDRASEKHAR RAO, CM, TELANGANA

Bungalow-address/type: 23, Tughlak Road/Type-VIII

Date of allotment/regularisation: 03.06.2015

Grounds: Final division of the Buildings and other properties of AP Bhawan. No alternate accommodation available for CM during his stay in Delhi

NAME: N CHANDRABABU NAIDU, CM, ANDHRA PRADESH

Bungalow-address/type: 7, Safdarjung Road/Type-VIII

Date of allotment/regularisation: 06.04.2016

Grounds: Final division of the Buildings and other properties of AP Bhawan. No alternate accommodation available for CM during his stay in Delhi

NAME: SARBANANDA SONOWAL, CM, ASSAM

Bungalow-address/type: 29, Canning Lane/Type-VIB

Date of allotment/regularisation: 02.09.2016

Grounds: Assam Bhawan where the Chief Minster's office and accommodation are located is being dismantled for reconstruction and is likely to take a few years for completion

NAME: RAGHUBAR DAS, CM, JHARKHAND

Bungalow-address/type: AB-13, Mathura Road/Type-VII

Date of allotment/regularisation: 21.12.2015

Grounds: Allotted on the ground that construction of Jharkhand Bhawan in Central Delhi is underway

NAME: TRIVENDRA SINGH RAWAT, CM, UTTARAKHAND

Bungalow-address/type: AB-1, Purana Qullia Road, Type-VII

Date of allotment/regularisation: 28.06.2017

Grounds: On the ground that construction in Uttrakhand Bhawan is ongoing and the department had provided Type-I/II units to staff of Uttrakahdn Bhawan on the same Ground. Now, the allotment stands cancelled w.e.f 18.04.2017 and due to no vacation, case has been referred to Litigation

NAME: NITISH KUMAR, CM, BIHAR

Bungalow-address/type: 6, K Kamraj Lane, Type-VII

Date of allotment/regularisation: 27.11.2017

Grounds: On the ground that there is no space in the State Bhawan and the State Government has separately requested for allotment of land of an additional Bhawan

NAME: BIPLAB KUMAR DEB, CM, TRIPURA

Bungalow-address/type: 6, Talkatora Road, Type-VIB

Date of allotment/regularisation: 24.04.2018 (On Vacation Basis)

Grounds: On the ground that his spouse and Children would continue to stay in New Delhi and it would be necessary to have appropriate Government accommodation for them, from the security point of view.

So in all, seven bungalows have been allocated to different chief ministers during the course of the current government's tenure. All of them are either of the NDA or were close to it at the time of allocation.

Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu was with the NDA till a few months back. Another beneficiary, Telangana's CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has also supported Narendra Modi government on several issues.

Notably, not a single chief minister from any Opposition applied for a bungalow.

A statement from the Tripura Chief Minister's Office, however, told India Today that Deb had applied for a bungalow in Delhi in April and the one at 6, Talkatora Road was alloted to him.

His family was in Delhi then. They shifted to Tripura in August. So the bungalow was vacated in early September.

That makes the bungalow a part of the entitlement of the Delhi chief minister now.

Interestingly, while Nitish Kumar was allocated a bungalow on 27.11.2017 (which was after he joined the NDA), KC Tyagi, the general secretary of Kumar's Janata Dal (United) party says, "As Chief Minister of Bihar, he [Nitish Kumar] never sought a Lutyen's bungalow."

"He used to stay at Bihar Bhawan whenever he was in the capital. But one must remember that now he is also heading Janata Dal (United) and the party needs space for its political activities," Tyagi said.

In response to India Today's question about the rent of these accommodations and who pays it, the Government of India said, "All the allotments have been made within the state quota on payment of normal licence fee and concerned allottee are paying the rent."

We also asked, about the numbers of chief ministers who applied for such accommodations in the last five years and the status of their applications, the Ministry of Urban Affairs said, "No such request is pending/rejected in the last five years".

 

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