Estate department had issued notices to 24 ex-ministers from Kamalnath government including Sajjan Singh Verma, Hukum Singh Karada, Om Prakash Markam, P C Sharma, Umang Singhar Sukhdev Phanse, Kamleshwar Patel, Lakhan Ganghoria, Sachin Yadav, Brijendra Singh Rathore and Tarun Bhanot. They were allotted ‘B’ type accommodation.
However, the six former ministers, who were among the 22 Congress MLAs to resign from the Assembly in March, have not been served the notices. Two of them are ministers in the current BJP government.
Tarun Bhanot’s bungalow was the first to get sealed by the authorities on Wednesday. It is now allotted to MP BJP chief VD Sharma. Citing his displeasure, Bhanot said that this action was uncalled and since he was stuck because of the lockdown, the government should have waited for his arrival.
The lockdown was imposed within four days of the fall of the previous government. Thus, no former minister was able to vacate the bungalow. Even former chief minister Kamalnath is still occupying the chief minister’s residence.
While the ruling government termed it as a “routine administrative procedure” aimed at accommodating the new ministers, the Congress termed it political vendetta as it came amid the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.
Congress parliamentarian Vivek Tankha expressed his shock over the order and said, “In the course of lockdown 24 ministers are being evicted from their homes in Bhopal, which is a red zone and from within containment area for no compelling necessity. Shocking levels of administrative degradation.”
State home minister Narottam Mishra, however, said, “Whenever a new government comes to power, the ministers in the previous dispensation have to vacate the bungalows.”
State BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal said that the notices were served as per the law, but no one will be treated insensitivity. Home department officials said these Congress leaders like Bhanot were served notice twice but in vain.