PATNA: Attacking Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for having two government accommodations in Patna, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today asked him to make it clear whether he is a chief minister or a “former CM” given that he was occupying a bungalow each in both capacities.
“Are you a chief minister or ex-CM? If you are chief minister, then are you entitled to take salary and pension both simultaneously? If so, then you should also take both government accommodations and personal staff which is due to a former chief minister,” he said.
Alleging that Mr Kumar has been allotted two bunglows by wrongly tweaking the rules, the former deputy chief minister said the justification of it amounted to taking both salary and pension at the same time.
Quoting the Bihar Special Security Group (Amendment) Act, 2010, Mr Modi, in a letter to Mr Kumar, said there was a provision in the Act to provide for a free-of-cost official residence to the former chief minister in the jurisdiction of the state capital, but there was no provision under which the former chief minister could occupy a house allotted in his/her name even after taking oath as chief minister.
He said the Nitish Kumar government even after severing ties with the BJP, had got a resolution adopted by the cabinet secretariat in 2014 barring occupation of two houses by former chief minister in the event of an immediate family member of such a former chief minister having been an occupant of the same post.
Taking exception to his earlier letter to Mr Kumar being replied by Building Construction Department and denying that the resolution in this regard was not passed by the state legislature nor a decision taken by the cabinet, but being a routine order of the Department, Mr Modi said even the order did not specify whether the facilities, like government house to a former chief minister will be continued to that person in the event of he/she becoming a chief minister.
If Nitish Kumar was entitled to two houses, one in his capacity as chief minister and another for being a former Chief Minister, then his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi should also be allotted two houses, he said.
Mr Modi, a former deputy chief minister, also raised question on reported expenditure of crores of rupees on refurbishing Mr Kumar’s other residence at 7, Circular Road, allotted to him in his capacity as former chief minister, and asked whether the same amount of money was spent on renovation of the government houses of the former chief ministers Jagannath Mishra and Jitan Ram Manjhi?