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UPA’s farewell gift: a house for Lalu, rent waiver for many

An eviction notice had been sent to Lalu three months ago, when he ceased to be MP after being convicted in a fodder scam case.

New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2014 8:24 am
The Ministry of Urban Development took the cabinet route to allow Lalu to retain a bungalow on Tughlaq Road, accepting his plea that his wife was ill and required regular visits to AIIMS.

Going through its final weeks, and days before the model code of conduct comes into force, the government is handing out favours to a range of people — from politicians to bureaucrats to police officers.

The Ministry of Urban Development on Wednesday took the cabinet route to allow RJD chief Lalu Prasad to retain a Type VIII bungalow on Tughlaq Road for another year, accepting his plea that his wife was ill and required regular visits to AIIMS.

An eviction notice had been sent to Lalu three months ago, when he ceased to be MP after being convicted in a fodder scam case. Sources said Lalu wrote to UD Minister Kamal Nath, mentioning Rabri Devi’s illness and the fact that his grandchildren studied in Sanskriti school nearby.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) granted Lalu’s request, even though he is neither an MP nor the head of a national political party (the RJD ceased to be one after the last elections) — pre-requisites for allotment of a bungalow in the heart of VIP Delhi.

Another beneficiary is the son of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, who was allowed to retain for a year a Type V bungalow in Telegraph Lane after he wrote to the PM saying the premises contained several memorabilia of his late father, and was an “inspiration” for people from Andhra Pradesh.

The CCA also waived the market rent — of around Rs 10 lakh — for former home minister Buta Singh, who had been overstaying in a government bungalow, and was pulled up last year by the Supreme Court. Buta will now pay only a “special licence fee” of approximately Rs 13,000, source said.

The rent has been reduced to a licence fee also for the family of Congress leader K Karunakaran, who have been staying on in government accommodation even after his death in 2010. The family of former minister Sisram Ola, who passed away last year, too, has been allowed to keep his government accommodation for one more year.

Manipur Governor V K Duggal has been allotted a C-II type flat, even though he is entitled to sprawling accommodation in Imphal.

The ministry also de-earmarked two bungalows meant for the commissioner of police, Delhi, and director, Enforcement Directorate, from the panel of official residences allotted to these posts.

This was done on the request of the bungalows’ present occupants, B S Bassi and Rajiv Katoch, the officers who currently hold the two posts. De-earmarking means the officers will be able to retain these house for eight months after they have retired in 2016.

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  1. M
    MV Saxena
    Feb 27, 2014 at 6:59 am
    Congress is going all out to woo any vote which is for asking. mr. yadav can stay anywhere in Delhi at his own cost for treatment of his wife and families in AIIMS or any other hospital. Like wise there is no justification for allowing sons or families of congress leaders or sympathetic officers to retain houses in Delhi after they cease to be eligible of houses
    1. S
      Feb 27, 2014 at 7:45 am
      When burglars know that their time is up they indulge in haphazard looting behavior to fill their coffers.An old adage "Make hay while Sun shines" is made true by UPA government.
      1. S
        Feb 27, 2014 at 10:09 am
        Hopefully this gifts will be taken back by Modi.
        1. S
          Suryaji Vichare
          Mar 3, 2014 at 6:04 am
          I agree with you. The w Indian administration has been turned into a club of politicians, bureaucrats and corporate houses. They take care of each other by utilizing all the country's resources. When it comes to protecting personal interests they are all one. The moment any one tries to change this nefarious system they join together and attack, the type we witnessed in Delhi. It was 27 versus 40 when it came to voting for Delhi JLP Bill. But what is shameful is they sill say they too want to change the system and are against corruption. They are hoodwinking and fooling the entire people of our country. LS 2014 is the right chance for all of us to teach them a lesson.