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CCA seeks Prime Minister's intervention to shift seven ex-ministers to subordinate bungalows

CCA seeks Prime Ministers intervention to shift seven ex-ministers to subordinate bungalows
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New Delhi: After losing portfolio in the last reshuffle, the expelled ministers may lose their current residence too as the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) has sought Prime Minister's intervention to shift seven ex-ministers to subordinate bungalows and evict Sharad Yadav and the family of Late Ram Vilas Paswan.

Shifting notices were issued by the Directorate of Estates to former ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, Santosh Gangwar, Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Debasree Chaudhuri and Pratap Chandra Sarangi, sources said.

MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who has been occupying his ministerial bungalow despite being dropped in 2019, is not mentioned in the list as he agreed to shift to 10, Pant Marg, they said. The vacation notice to expelled ministers came within 10 days of their removal and following resistance by some, the issue was flagged by Housing & Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to Home Minister Amit Shah who chairs the CCA.

Facing a piquant position involving mainly his own party members, Shah passed it on a fortnight ago to the Prime Minister's Office for 'kind attention' of the PM, said sources.

Though most of these ex-ministers are entitled to the category of house that they reside in, the Directorate wants them to move to houses earmarked for Lok/Rajya Sabha MPs, even if the accommodation category gets lowered.

That would free up status-appropriate houses that the Directorate allots under the General Pool category to the newly sworn ministers, says the Ministry. The demand has arisen after PM Narendra Modi raised the council of ministers to 77 from 52 in the last reshuffle on July 7.

However, some ex-ministers have reasoned that the Directorate reassign these bungalows under the Lok Sabha pool in exchange for houses earmarked under Lok Sabha pool so that their public connect with their constituency does not get hampered due to a change of address.

Interestingly, the Directorate has allocated houses in the Capital from the General Pool to accommodate nine chief ministers, seven from the NDA. Anupriya Patel, who was inducted as Minister of State for Commerce & Industry in the last reshuffle, has been staying in a ministerial bungalow at 5 Safdarjung Road after being re-elected as Lok Sabha MP in 2019.

HUA is facing resistance from Lok Sabha MP Chirag Paswan in vacating 12, Janpath which his father Ram Vilas occupied for over three decades until his death last October. Chirag recently installed a bust of his late father inside the premises even as Bihar opposition parties demanded that it be turned into a memorial.

Former MP Sharad Yadav is not budging either from his long-term residence 7, Tughlak Road. Yadav challenged his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha under the anti-defection law in 2017 and sought to retain the house and salary. The Supreme Court in 2018 allowed him to keep the house.

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