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Squatter Manjhi refuses to vacate CM's bungalow.

IT'S A fight over the chief minister's bungalow in Bihar. Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is in no mood to vacate 1, Anne Marg -- the official residence of Bihar CM -- more than a month since he resigned. Manjhi has put a precondition for vacating the spacious bungalow to enable Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to move in there.

He wants Nitish to vacate the 7, Circular Road house first. " I have no problem in leaving 1, Anne Marg but Nitish must first vacate his bungalow," Manjhi said. " The 7, Circular Road house, where he is staying at present, is meant for the former chief minister." Manjhi, who has floated a political front called Hindustani Awam Morcha after his expulsion from the Janata Dal- United, said that he would move into the Circular Road bungalow as soon as Nitish vacated it.

tenure was known for his controversial remarks, said since Nitish had " spent crores" of rupees on the renovation of his bungalow after resigning as the chief minister, he would not vacate it so easily. " I would have been glad to shift there as it is a well- furnished bungalow," Manjhi said.

Nitish govt tells Manjhi to return to his earlier bungalow

Taking a dig at Nitish, Manjhi said that the chief minister would, in any case, take a minimum of six months to shift to 1, Anne Marg from there. " He would like to get it renovated again and make it livable since a mahadalit like me has stayed there," he said.

Manjhi, however, said that by the time the chief ministerial bungalow would be readied for Nitish, state Assembly elections would be around. " After the polls, he would not be able to return to 1, Anne Marg, though," Manjhi asserted.

Meanwhile, the Nitish Kumar government has allocated the 12, Strand Road bungalow for Manjhi where he had been staying before becoming the chief minister.

Recently, the building construction department issued an order in this regard recently.

Manjhi's move came after the building construction department served a notice to three former ministers -- Mahachandra Prasad Singh, Brishin Patel and Shahid Ali Khan -- to vacate their bungalows which had been allotted to them as ministers.

The department officials said that all the former ministers had to vacate the bungalows after one month from the date of their resignation.

All the ministers who have been served eviction notices happened to be supporters of Manjhi who had resigned along with

him on February 20.

Manjhi said that the notice to the ministers to vacate their bungalows underlined the vindictive nature of the Nitish government.

" They are serving notices to them because they are my supporters but they are sparing others," he said.

Manjhi supporters said that similar notices were served to many former ministers of the BJP after the JD- U snapped ties with their party in 2013 but many of them were still living in the bungalows.

Incidentally, the 1, Anne Marg was officially designated as the chief ministerial bungalow after Nitish came to power even though two of his predecessors -- Rabri Devi and Lalu Prasad -- lived there for 15 years. After the Rashtriya Janata Dal lost the Assembly polls in November 2005, Lalu reportedly wanted the bungalow to be allotted in the name of Rabri Devi who had become the leader of opposition. But the bungalow was marked for the serving chief minister, forcing Lalu and Rabri to shift to the nearby 10, Circular Road house.

-- Jitan Ram Manjhi, former Bihar CM I have no problem in leaving 1, Anne Marg but Nitish must first vacate his bungalow.

The 7, Circular Road house, where he is staying at present, is meant for the former chief minister.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 29, 2015
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