DAINIK NATION BUREAU
With the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat still sitting on the portfolio allotment to the ministers even three days after the swearing- in, the ministers have started pressuring the State estate department officials through letters, demanding some chosen government bungalows to be allotted to them. Sources say that the officials of the particular department are under huge pressure with letters being shot off to them.
It is learnt that the newly inducted cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj has demanded the official bungalow- next to Bijapur Guest House – that was vacated by the Ex-CM Vijay Bahuguna by an order of high court while some of the ministers have their eyes fixed on the bungalow on upscale Cantt Road that remains in the possession of the former finance minister Indira Hridayesh. Notably, it is the same bungalow where Prakash Pant resided when he was a cabinet minister of the erstwhile BJP government that ran the state between 2007-12. Maharaj has pitched for the bungalow earlier occupied by Bahuguna, citing his seniority. Notably, Maharaj was the first cabinet minister who was sworn in immediately after Rawat took oath as the CM, something that seems to point to his status in the council of ministers as next to the CM.
Sources further say that the estate department officials have pleaded their inability to allot the bungalow being under occupation of Indira Hridayesh, citing the logic that in case she is elected the leader of the opposition, she would be entitled to the bungalow on the basis of the post enjoying a status equal to a cabinet minister.
Observers say that it seems minister patience running thin which is why minister without portfolio is instructing official concerned to allot house of their other cabinet colleagues.
With two of the cabinet ministers, Yashpal Arya and Harak Singh Rawat, residing in their bungalows in Yamuna Colony and Prakash Pant being allotted the one vacated by the former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari, there is a number of ministers like
Madan Kaushik, Arvind Pandey, Rekha Arya and Dhan Singh Rawat who are yet to be allotted the bungalows.
Meanwhile, CM Rawat is now in Delhi, waiting to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders. BJP insiders say that he would seek help from the party high command regarding the matter of portfolio allocation. Things not moving much here, the CM’s Delhi trip would hopefully clear decks for the allocation of portfolios, hanging fire for as many as three days since the swearing-in, said a ruling party insider.