It has been over 2 months since the 16th Lok Sabha assembly has dissolved. However, Congress leader Anand Sharma yesterday took to Twitter to express his frustration with the central government’s order to vacate government provided bungalows and accommodation to the former Member of Parliament of the 16th Lok Sabha.
A Lok Sabha panel on Monday had cracked a whip on the 16th Lok Sabha Members of Parliament who were not re-elected in the 17th Lok Sabha, who are overstaying in their official bungalows even after 2 months since the dissolution of the house. The panel has given an ultimatum to the non-complying parliamentarians to vacate their official houses in 7 days. The chairman of the Lok Sabha Housing committee, C R Patil said that the meeting concluded with the decision that within 3 days power, gas and electricity will be snapped in these official residences.
I ask you a direct question : Do you want Indian MP’s to be rich and corrupt? Representing the people or Corporates & Multinationals. The honest ones have families to support. You are being hypocritical.
— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) August 19, 2019
This has not gone down well with senior Congress leader Anand Sharma who was quick to express his disapproval of the move. Terming Supreme Court order’s adherence as a Prime Ministerial diktat, Sharma described the decision to vacate the accommodation in 7 days as harsh, arbitrary and discriminatory. He went on to claim that former MPs get a pension less than peons. Drawing a parallel with bureaucrats, Sharma stated that Secretaries to the government are allowed to retain their accommodation for 6 months but former legislators are not.
In a bizarre rant, Sharma continued asking PM if he wants Indian MPs to be rich and corrupt. He asserted that the honest former MPs have families to support and thus they should be allowed to have official accommodation.
The Supreme Court had mandated to vacate the government allotted accommodation in 1 month after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. On May 25, 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind had dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha with immediate effect on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet after the Modi government was formed for a second term. It has now been close to 3 months since the house was dissolved but a large number of former MPs have still not vacated their official residences.
The 17th Lok Sabha saw more than 260 MPs who have been elected for the first time in the lower house of the parliament such as cricketer Gautam Gambhir, actors Mimi Chakroborty and Nusrat Jahan Ruhi. According to the sources, more than 200 former MPs have still not vacated the government bungalows allotted to them in 2014. For this reason, the newly elected MPs are being housed in temporary accommodation, which is costing extra money to the exchequer.
This is not the first time former MPs have refused to vacate their houses despite not being re-elected. After 2014 elections also, a larger number of MPs had refused to leave their houses and it took a long time and lots of efforts in getting the houses vacated to accommodate newly elected MPs.