After the family of former chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, vacated the chief minister’s house in Jammu; the PDP has conveyed its leaders to look for an alternate accommodation, in case PDP is not able to form the government before February 8.
The vacation of CM house is an indication that stalemate between the PDP and BJP over the formation of government in the state is likely to continue as BJP is not ready to accept all the demands of the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
Sources, however said that it could be a pressure tactic from the PDP leadership to convey the BJP top brass that they are not in a hurry to form the government.
As per the official norms, former ministers have to vacate the official bungalows both in Jammu and in Srinagar in case they are unable to form the government in the next week. Officials said the legislators are not entitled for VIP bungalows and they are being allotted accommodation only from the discretion quota. However, ministers are allotted VIP Bungalows by the J&K’s estates department. For assembly members, the state has two separate MLA hostels in Srinagar and Jammu.
Deputy Director Estates Jammu, Satish Sharma told The Indian Express that former ministers most of times vacate their official accommodation voluntarily. “They (former ministers) can live in the VIP houses till February 8. So far no former minister has approached us for leaving the accommodation in Jammu voluntarily,’’ he said.
Sources in the PDP said that former ministers have been conveyed by the top leadership that they should remain prepared to leave the ministerial bungalows and shift to MLA hostels. Almost all the former PDP BJP ministers have occupied VIP bungalows in both Srinagar and in Jammu.
J&K former Education Minister and senior PDP leader, Nayeem Akthar told The Indian Express that government should provide all the former ministers of PDP an alternate accommodation. “We all have security concerns we will definitely leave the bungalows once alternate arrangements will be provided to us.’’
Akthar said as legislators all the former ministers of his party are entitled for the government accommodation. On Thursday, responding over the vacation of CM house by Mufti’s, Akthar had told reporters that there is nothing political about the vacation of chief minister’s official bungalow.
“Mufti sahib during his lifetime maintained highest standards of dignified political conduct, his family is carrying forward his legacy and that is why chief minister’s designated official residence was immediately vacated by them following the demise of Mufti sahib.’’
Though BJP has not asked its former ministers to vacate their official VIP accommodations, but BJP spokesman Arun Gupta said that BJP legislators are law abiding citizens. “If it is law that former ministers have to vacate the official accommodation being a law abiding citizens of the country our legislators will follow it,’’ he said.