Bhopal: With the Supreme Court overturning an Uttar Pradesh government law allowing them to retain official bungalows, several former CMs in Madhya Pradesh, including AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh and union minister Uma Bharti, could also lose out on their plush accommodations in Bhopal as and when the verdict is also implemented in the state.
“The Chief Minister, once he/she demits the office, is at par with the common citizen, though by virtue of the office held, he/she may be entitled to security and other protocols. But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality,” noted an SC bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday.
The court order would take away allotment of bungalows from former Uttar Pradesh CMs, including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh and ND Tiwari.
In neighboring Madhya Pradesh, former CMs like Kailash Joshi, Babulal Gaur, Digvijaya Singh and Uma Bharti occupy sprawling government bungalows.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had last year served a notice to the MP government on a PIL demanding Union minister Uma Bharti, Congress leader Digvijay Singh and BJP’s Kailash Joshi vacate their official residences in Bhopal that were allotted during their tenures as chief minister.
The PIL challenged the state government order of April 24, 2016, which said that these former state CMs have been cleared to stay put lifelong in the official residences allotted to them. This is similar to the UP government order quashed by the apex court.
While the state made no conscious efforts to vacate government bungalows allotted to the four former CMs, it did order ex-CM Motilal Vora to move out of the government accommodation he has occupied since 1981. Vora had vacated his bungalow on September 30, 2016, around 24 hours after the extended six months period assigned to him expired.