A day after the Bihar government issued notices to eight former BJP ministers to vacate the sprawling ministerial bungalows, some of them challenged the government to evict them while others refused to vacate unless given alternative accommodation.
The ruling Janata Dal-United leaders said this exposed the BJP leaders of being power hungry.
More than two months after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dumped the BJP the state government on Wednesday served notices to eight of the eleven former BJP ministers to vacate their sprawling bungalows as they are no longer enjoy the status of ministers, officials said.
Ashwani Kumar Choubey, former health minister and senior BJP leader dared the state government to evict him from the bungalow. "I challenge the government to evict me. Nobody can evict me," Choubey said.
Another former minister Griraj Singh said that government cannot evict them unless alternative arrangements were made. "I cannot vacate the bungalows unless an alternative arrangement is made for me," Singh, a senior BJP leader said.
Leader of opposition Nand Kishore Yadav said on Thursday that the government's move reeks of politics of revenge. "The government should first make alternative arrangements,” he said.
JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said the BJP leaders should have vacated the bungalows last month itself. "The BJP leaders are showing their true colour. They are not ready to vacate ministerial bungalows despite no longer being ministers." Kumar said.
An official of Building Construction Department Vinod Chaudhary said that notices were served to eight former BJP ministers ,who have not vacated their ministerial bungalows despite being dropped from the state cabinet in June. “They were served notices because they have ceased to be ministers in the government” he said.
Chaudhary said that former BJP ministers would be forcibly evicted if they failed to vacate their official bungalows in the one week, two more notices, including one for eviction, will be served to them before it.
He said that these former ministers have already overstayed in the ministerial bungalows by more than a one month.
The notices were issued to former BJP ministers including Choubey, Ramadhar Singh, Sukhda Pandey, Prem Kumar, Sateydeo Narain Arya, Griraj Singh, Janardhan Singh Sigriwal,Chandramohan Rai.
These BJP leaders were allotted sprawling bungalows in the capacity of ministers.
According to officials only eight of 11 former BJP ministers were issued notices."One former BJP minister Sunil Kumar Pintu during his tenure as minister was living in his MLA's flat ,therefore notice was not issued to him."
In the case of two former BJP ministers Nand Kishore Yadav and Sushil Kumar Modi, notices were not issued to them till alternative arrangements for them would be made.
Yadav is now leader of opposition in the state assembly and Modi is now leader of opposition in the state council. Both of them enjoy status of minister. “Two of them are entitled for ministerial bungalows in their respective capacity,” Chaudhary said.
On June 16, JD-U ended its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP and Nitish Kumar sacked 11 BJP ministers from his cabinet.