Rajasthan BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari today gave a 10-day ultimatum to Vasundhara Raje to either declare her current bungalow as the chief minister’s house or move into the government alloted residence, failing which he would hold a ‘satyagraha’. The outspoken-BJP leader announced at a press conference here that he will hold the protest along with members of the Deen Dayal Vahini, a group founded by him. “The plush 13 Civil Lines bungalow where Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje resides at present is just a few meters away from the government allotted house. The 2,000 cr property has been converted into a fortified palace with 15-feet high walls,” he said.
The government should make public the expenditure incurred in transforming the Civil Lines bungalow, he demanded. “I also demand that it should be opened for public once a year, like the Mogul Garden at the President’s residence in New Delhi. Let the people see what is behind the walls,” the BJP MLA from Sanaganer said. Tiwari claimed he along with his organisation will hold a door-to-door campaign to “save the people’s property”. “When the government has earmarked a residence for a chief minister, the need to use another undeclared place should not arise. However, here, both bungalows are being used,” he said.
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Tiwari alleged that to take life-long possession of the bungalow, the Raje government had passed the Rajasthan Ministers Salaries (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the last Budget Session of the assembly. “The Bill proposes that any former chief minister will continue to hold the possession of the bungalow even if he or she is appointed at any other position. “They will enjoy all the facilities, including government vehicles, communication, free air and rail travel and office assistants. We will not allow loot of public fund,” he said.
Tiwari alleged that the Bill was an attempt to implement “feudalism” in Rajasthan, which he has opposed several times in the assembly. “I have no personal grudges against anyone. I am playing the role of the opposition but working for the larger benefit as a public representative,” he said, adding that such attempts will set a “tradition and the same benefits will be extended to ministers, MLAs and mayors”.
“Even the Supreme Court has declared it inappropriate for former chief ministers to use government bungalows. It can be challenged in any court,” he claimed. Tiwari has been criticising Raje and the BJP leadership after he was served show cause notices last month by the party’s national discipline committee. The notices were sent after he alleged that the BJP in Rajasthan had become “a place for mafias and sycophants while dedicated, loyal and qualified people had been sidelined”.