Jammu: The BJP on Sunday accused the Estates department of Jammu and Kashmir of adopting a "pick and choose" policy in serving eviction notices to former ministers of the BJP-PDP coalition government in the state.
"While the step asking the BJP-PDP ministers to vacate their ministerial bungalows is in right direction, the Estates department has adopted a pick and choose policy while serving the eviction notices as several leaders of various political parties continue to occupy the bungalows even after leaving office more than a decade ago," BJP MLA RS Pathania along with two other MLAs told reporters.
The Estates department had on March 8 issued eviction notices to the former state ministers directing them to vacate their official bungalows within a period of seven days.
The BJP leaders also alleged "oblique motives" behind the move as scores of "allottees" were still occupying the ministerial bungalows for decades after they ceased to be ministers or legislators.
"For instance, Harshdev Singh (of JKNPP) was allotted a ministerial bungalow in Gandhi Nagar in 2002 in his capacity as Education minister. He ceased to be a minister 12 years back and even then he is enjoying the accommodation without any let, hindrance or eviction proceedings from the side of Estates department," Pathania said.
Similarly, Ajay Sadhotra (NC), Mohammed Ramzan (NC) and Yogesh Sawhney (Congress), Balwant Singh Mankotia (JKNPP), Prof Bhim Singh (JKNPP), Manjeet Singh (Congress) and others ceased to be ministers and legislators years ago but Estates department has not issued any notice to them, he said.
Pathania said on the other hand, many BJP MLAs are yet to be provided official accommodation more than a year after getting elected.
"Several BJP MLAs like Rajiv Sharma, Krishan Lal Bhagat, Dina Nath Bhagat, Kuldeep Kumar, Jivan Lal are without official accommodation, whereas unauthorised occupants are squatting in government bungalows with active connivance and support of Estates department," the BJP MLA from Ramnagar said.
The BJP MLAs also expressed their resentment over the way eviction notices were allegedly pasted on the walls of houses of senior party leaders and former ministers of BJP and the photographs made viral on internet.
"We seek a detailed inquiry into the episode as to why a selective witch-hunt has been carried out. What is the stand of government regarding unauthorised and defaulting occupants?" he asked.