Rebel BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari on Monday launched a scathing attack on Vasundhara Raje saying that the Rajasthan chief minister must vacate the 13, Civil Lines Bungalow that was allotted to her as a former chief minister in 2008.
Raje had continued to live at the bungalow even after taking charge as CM in 2013. She refused to shift into the official chief minister’s residence — 8, Civil Lines.
Tiwari’s attack came hours after the Supreme Court struck down an amendment to a Uttar Pradesh legislation, which allowed former chief ministers of the state to retain government accommodation even after demitting office. While striking down the amendment to the ‘UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981’, the apex court observed that a chief minister cannot continue to occupy public property like government bungalows which belong to people of the country.
“The chief minister, once he/she demits the office, is at par with the common citizen, though by virtue of the office held, he/she may be entitled to security and other protocols. But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality,” the bench observed.
“On April 26, 2017, the Rajasthan government had very cleverly cleared Rajasthan Ministers Salaries (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which was introduced only because the chief minister wanted to keep the 13, Civil Lines residence for life,” Tiwari said.
The Supreme Court verdict has made it clear that chief ministers cannot enjoy such perks for life. “The workers of my organization Deendayal Vahini will launch an agitation if the chief minister doesn’t vacate the bungalow,” Tiwari said.
Last year also Tiwari had launched a verbal attack after the Rajasthan Ministers Salaries (Amendment) Bill, 2017, was cleared. “Either she vacate 13, Civil Lines or earmark it as official CM residence and allot 8, Civil Lines to someone else,” he had said.