Speaker asks ex-MLAs to vacate govt quarters | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com


Bhubaneswar: Speaker S N Patro on Monday asked former ministers/ex-MLAs to vacate government accommodation provided to them when they were in power. A government list shows that more than 20 ex-MLAs, including at least seven former ministers, have been overstaying ‘unauthorisedly’ in government quarters.
“The former MLAs who were still staying in the quarters allotted to them have been asked to vacate immediately so that MLAs, who are yet to get government accommodation will be allotted. If they don’t respond, power and electricity supply will be snapped,” Patro told reporters here.
According to a government list, former ministers Damodar Rout, Bijayshree Routray, Puspendra Singh Deo, Ramesh Majhi, Sanjay Das Burma, Debasis Nayak and Sanjeeb Sahoo are among those still staying in government accommodation though the quarters allotted to them were cancelled on June 24.
Similarly, state BJP president and MP Basanta Panda, BJP MP Nitesh Gangadeb, former MLAs Rabi Naik (BJP), Jhina Hikaka (BJD), Bhujabal Majhi (Congress), are among others overstaying in government facilities. Quarters allotted to late Bed Prakash Agarwalla and Subal Sahu were yet to be vacated by their kin. While Agarwalla died in April this year, Sahu died in August 2017.
The former legislators have varied explanations. Rout, when contacted, said he has sought time from the government. “I have asked for four months time from the government to find an alternative. I needed some time because my wife died in March and I have kept her ashes in my accommodation,” said Rout, who was defeated in the last assembly election. Naik said he has also sought time from the government. “I have some personal problems. That is why I have sought some time,” he said.
Hikaka, who was allotted the house in 2012 following his abduction by Maoists, said he has asked the government to allow him to stay further. “I had got the house under special circumstances keeping in view the security threat to me and my family. There is no change in my situation. That is why I have written to the government to allow me to stay,” Hikaka said.
Hikaka was allowed to retain the house allotted to him as an MLA in 2012 till June this year though he was elected to Lok Sabha in 2014. In 2019, he did not contest. Gangadeb, the former Deogarh MLA who was elected to Lok Sabha this time, said he has already vacated the house.

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