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'Aam Aadmi' Kejriwal will live in a 5-bedroom house

January 03, 2014 22:10 IST

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will soon shift to a five-bedroom duplex flat in central Delhi from his current residence in the Kausambi locality of Ghaziabad.

Kejriwal has been allotted two five-bedroom duplex flats on Bhagwan Das Road, of which one will be used as his office.

Bharatiya Janata Party Members of Legislative Assembly criticised Kejriwal over the issue in the Delhi Assembly.

The party claimed that the CM's decision to accept the two flats was in "total contradiction" of the AAP's claim that it will practice austerity.

"Allotment of two big flats to the chief minister has exposed the party. It is in total contradiction of their stated position. Their resolve to remain the Aam Aadmi has fallen flat," senior BJP leader Sahab Singh Chouhan said in the assembly.

Kejriwal and his six ministers had decided not to stay in any government bungalows but instead live in modest flats.

"I have been given two separate houses, each with five bedrooms. You can take your camera and check the houses. I will be living in one of those with my family while using the other as my office where we can work till late hours," Kejriwal told reporters.

"Now, I will live with my family in the five-bedroom house. Earlier, I was living in a four-bedroom apartment, that's the only difference," he said.

Kejriwal had earlier refused to shift to a Type-Seven bungalow, which he is entitled to, after becoming the chief minister of Delhi on December 28.

His team had finalised the two flats on Bhagwan Das Road after scanning a number of government flats near the Delhi Secretariat.

Ministers in the Delhi government are entitled to Type-Six or Type-Seven bungalows with three-bedrooms.

Sheila Dikshit has, since 2003, been staying at a Type-8 bungalow on Motilal Nehru Marg in Lutyens Delhi.

Sources said that the accommodation for Kejriwal was finalised after his family saw the place last week. The flats are being renovated and Kejriwal is likely to shift after a few days.

Meanwhile Aam Aadmi Party Ministers of Delhi, except Kejriwal, were on Friday given Toyota Innova cars as official perks.

A number of ministers, including Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla and Saurabh Bhardwaj, came to the Delhi Assembly complex in official cars.

Asked if coming by such cars was reflective of the party practicing austerity, Kejriwal downplayed it, saying the party never said its ministers will not use official cars.

"We never said anything about not using cars. We said we will not use red beacon cars," Kejriwal said in reply to a volley of questions by reporters.

The acceptance of official cars by the ministers came a day after the AAP government won a trust vote in the assembly with the Congress’s support.

A number of AAP ministers and MLAs had come to the Delhi Assembly using public transport like metro and auto-rickshaw in the last few days in tune with their ‘Aam aadmi’ credentials.

Asked about the issue, Sisodia said the party was opposed to the VIP culture, but there was nothing wrong in taking official cars.

"We are opposed to the VIP culture of ministers and bureaucrats using red and blue beacons on their cars and not against using government cars. We are against taking big bungalows," Sisodia said.

Asked whether Kejriwal will also accept a government car, Sisodia refused to answer.

"My car did not have fuel and I had given my ATM card to my wife. So I had to use the government car," said Bhardwaj, minister for transport, food supplies and environment.

He also defended his cabinet colleague Birla’s decision to accept the car, saying, "She is a woman and as a minister she has to commute even during night time."

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