The state government has issued notices to some former ministers who have not vacated their ministerial bungalows despite being dropped from the Cabinet more than a month ago.
Following the change of guard in the state last month,the state general administration department (GAD) has issued notices to removed ministers Anil Deshmukh (Cabinet and Public Works),Baba Siddiqui (Food and Civil Supplies) and Vasant Purke (Education),asking them to vacate their bungalows immediately. These bungalows,with an area of over 2,500 sq ft each,are located opposite the Mantralay at Nariman Point.
As per rules,once a minister relinquishes or is removed from his post,he or she has to vacate the government bungalow within 15 days. Purkhe has requested the government to grant him an extension till May,while the others are yet to take any cognisance of notices issued to them,GAD sources said. Similar notices have also been issued to former Transport and Tribal Welfare Minister Dharmarao Atram,who is yet to vacate the government flat allotted to him at Malabar Hill. Atram resigned in July 2008 after he was accused of killing a chinkara in Pune.
Of the key ministers who were dropped following the resignation of Vilasrao Deshmukh as CM,ministers for Self Employment Satish Chaturvedi and Health Ranjit Kamble have left their bungalows. GAD officials said former Home Minister RR Patil was an exception,having vacated his bungalow the day he resigned.
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The GAD has decided to allot these bungalows to the new ministers. We are powerless in front of them. At least the new ministers will be able to put pressure on them to vacate soon, an official said.
On being contacted,Siddiqui whose bungalow has been allotted to Minister of State for Home Nitin Raut said: I will be handing over my bungalow to Raut on the 19th of this month. Anyway I stay in my Bandra flat.
While Anil Deshmukh did not comment,Atram said that he is yet to read the notice issued to him but added that he has made an application requesting the government to allow him to extend his stay at the flat.
Former Revenue Minister Narayan Rane has not vacated his official Malabar Hill bungalow either. However,officials said a decision to serve him a notice has not been taken as yet as Ranes political fate is still uncertain.
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