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Ex MPs get more time to vacate bungalows

Around 16 former ministers have been served eviction notices. Earlier deadlines in June and July could not be met by them.

ABHIMANYU DAS  New Delhi | 2nd Aug 2014

he Urban Development Ministry has given a breather to former minister and MPs who have either been asked to vacate houses or to move to other accommodations by extending the deadline to 5 August.

Ministry sources said that "they have been given seven working days to present their case." The last deadline was 26 July. An earlier deadline in June could not be met. Venkaiah Naidu, the minister of Urban Development had earlier said that the deadline will not be extended any further.

Naidu told the Lok Sabha earlier this week that around 16 former ministers have been served eviction notices. They include Kapil Sibal, Jaipal Reddy, Sachin Pilot, Farooq Abdullah, Ajit Singh and others.

Ministry sources said that around 100 former MPs belonging to both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are yet to vacate their houses and eviction notices have been served to them as well, while giving them the chance to present their case.

Some of the ministers who have been served eviction notices have already moved out. They include Kapil Sibal, Jaipal Reddy, Sachin Pilot and C.P. Joshi. Sources at Sibal's residence said that the former minister had already moved out and "only a little bit of stuff needs to be shifted." Pilot and Reddy moved out earlier this week. Joshi said that he had moved out much earlier. "I do not know why my name keeps appearing in such lists," he complained.

However, some of the ministers continue to stay put. Sources at Ajit Singh's residence said that the 12, Tughlaq Road bungalow had been with the family since 1978. Ajit Singh's father Ch. Charan Singh was the deputy PM in the Janata Party government which came to power in 1977. Farooq Abdullah also continues to stay at his official residence at his 11, Teen Murti lane residence.

Some of the former ministers in UPA government who are members of the Rajya Sabha had petitioned the Urban Development ministry earlier through the chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee Bhubaneshwar Kalita to get an extension, it is learnt.

However, the UD ministry has asked them to move out within 15 days to their new accommodations. Such ministers include A.K. Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Vayalar Ravi, Rajeev Shukla and others. Kalita, when asked about it, did not deny that such a request had been made and said that it was for the Ministry to decide. These former ministers had been occupying the bungalows that fall under the general pool. Twenty-one such former ministers occupying general pool bungalows have also been sent notices.

Chairman of the housing committee of Lok Sabha Kirit Somaiya said that "by the end of the Budget session, the entire exercise of former MPs and ministers moving out will be over."

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