BrahMos WORLD INDIA MADHYA PRADESH BHOPAL WTN SPECIAL Astrology GOSSIP CORNER SPORTS BUSINESS FUN FACTS ENTERTAINMENT LIFESTYLE TRAVEL ART & LITERATURE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY HEALTH EDUCATION DIASPORA OPINION & INTERVIEW RECIPES DRINKS FUNNY VIDEOS VIRAL ON WEB PICTURE STORIES
WTN HINDI ABOUT US PRIVACY POLICY SITEMAP CONTACT US
logo
Breaking News

Raje's bungalow again figures in Rajasthan House

Saturday - February 29, 2020 4:42 pm , Category : INDIA
Jaipur, Feb 29 (IANS) The controversial 'Bungalow Number 13', also called the second home to former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, located in Civil Lines here, was yet again debated in the House on Friday when independent MLA Sanyam Lodha questioned the government on how much money has been spent on this bungalow in the last five years.

The bungalow came into limelight in 2008 when Raje was allotted it in her capacity as Leader of the Opposition. After becoming Chief Minister in 2013, Raje surprised everybody by preferring to stay on in the bungalow and directed the officials to convert her official residence -- 8, Civil Lines -- into a state guesthouse.
She continued staying in this plush villa despite being an MLA, while flouting the HC orders which termed the provision of giving a free lifelong government bungalow, staff and car to former Chief Ministers under the 'Rajasthan Ministers' Salaries (Amendment) Act 2017' as "illegal" and "unconstitutional".
Lodha accused the government of creating a new regime of 'democratic maharajas' saying that this has been done despite the fact that the royals were abolished by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He also termed the present government as the 'sinner' of starting a new jagirdari system in Rajasthan.
Six time BJP MLA and former state minister Ghanshyam Tiwari also questioned Raje's occupancy of two bungalows demanding that the CM should vacate the 13, Civil Lines bungalow and shift to the official residence.
In May 2018, he submitted a memorandum to the then Governor saying that Raje had encroached on the 13, Civil Lines bungalow as she was simultaneously using the official residence and she should vacate the former. Tiwari later joined the Congress which supported him.
Meanwhile, Raje, during her CM tenure, in April 2017, passed the Rajasthan Ministers' Salaries (Amendment) Bill 2017 which allowed former CMs to have a government bungalow, nine government staff including one personal secretary, one personal assistant or stenographer, one driver, one grade 1 clerk, two informatics assistant, and three class 4 employees, a telephone and a vehicle for life after amending the Rajasthan Ministers' Salaries (Amendment) Act, 1956.
This act helped her to retain bungalow number 13 in 2018 which was allotted to her despite losing the Assembly elections. The General Administration Department (GAD) order said that Raje was being allotted the 13 Civil Lines house without any charges adding that this order was subject to a decision on a writ petition pending in the Rajasthan High Court.
In May 2017, a journalist Milapchand Dandia had filed a petition in the Rajasthan high court challenging the facilities given to ex-CMs.
The High Court, in its order on Dandia's petition, ruled in September 2019 that the amendment passed by the government was unconstitutional and former CMs should vacate their bungalows.
Despite this order, Raje has been residing in a Type I bungalow in the Civil Lines area. Jagannath Pahadia, the former CM allotted the same type of bungalow, was asked to vacate the bungalow after the court's notice.
On February 18 this year, the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan told the High Court that former CM Pahadia vacated bungalow number 5 on January 21 this year. However ex CM Vasundhara Raje is entitled to stay in the bungalow in her capacity of being an MLA.
The Chief Secretary (CS) reply was submitted against the contempt petition of Milapchand Dandia.
The CS also informed the court that all facilities given to both ex CMs were withdrawn in compliance with the High Court order on September 7, 2019, so the contempt petition should be cancelled. The staff given to them was removed and both ex CMs have returned the official vehicle, driver and staff on January 19.
Meanwhile, the petitioner's advocate Vimal Chaudhary stated that the bungalow in which Raje is staying is meant for a cabinet minister and hence her stay there is a violation of the court order and shows how she has been given special treatment by the Gehlot government.
"On December 13, 2018, the state government again allotted bungalow number 13 to Raje, when there was no provision for allotment of bungalows to former CMs. It is unclear under which policy was bungalow number 13 allotted to her. Going with this logic, each minister of the previous government should be allowed to occupy their old bungalow," Chaudhary told the media.
Meanwhile, Justice Sabina and Justice NS Dadh have fixed the next hearing on April 20 which shall decide the fate of Bungalow number 13 and reveal if the laws will continue to be twisted and turned to favour senior politicians or else the court's orders shall be abided with, said a senior Congress leader, adding that many ministers are eyeing this plush bungalow which has been specially curated for Raje by renowned interior designers.

--IANS arc/sdr/bg