Sachin’s start of an ideal political innings

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

Our legislators and political rulers (present and retired) should take lesson from Sachin Tendulkar when the cricketing hero declined accepting a government-bungalow in his capacity as Rajya Sabha member considering it as a wastage of public-resources, making it clear that he would be attending at least some Rajya Sabha meetings in each session by staying at hotel at his own expense.

Otherwise lust for government-bungalows in our politicians is quite common that too some ones crazy of occupying ‘directly’ or ‘indirectly’ two bungalows at a time even though they may not be need any! A former part-time Prime Minister has uselessly exercised his right to accept privilege of a government-bungalow even though he and his family have several prime properties in New Delhi. A former Vice President kept on occupying an additional bungalow even after his retirement till a series of RTI petitions forced him to vacate the additional bungalow. Even present President of India generated controversy by desiring (later withdrawn) a newly built post-retirement bungalow on huge piece of land against all rules and norms. Union Ministry of Urban Development has no courage to allot bungalow at 6, Krishna Menon Marg (New Delhi) now for a decade because it has no courage to get it practically vacated by removing unauthorised goods and persons living there. A completely disabled George Fernandes was ‘made’ Rajya Sabha member only to retain occupation of a bungalow he was allotted long back in his capacity as Union Defence Minister, even though he even could not take oath by himself! Earlier occupants usually do not vacate government-bungalows in time making government spend heavily towards hotel-bills for temporary accommodation to new Parliamentarians. What more, new Parliamentarians keep occupying hotel-rooms even after allotment of proper government-accommodation resulting in hues pending dues of ITDC as Directorate of Estate has no rules to pay for such unauthorised occupation of hotel-rooms by Parliamentarians. Several former Chief Ministers made rules for their post-retirement bungalows built and developed at exorbitant cost like a former UP Chief Minister who in addition keeps occupying four government-bungalows in New Delhi.

Rules should be tightened so that any one not vacating government-accommodation in stipulated 30-days’ period may be barred to contest any election in his/her life-time. Such accommodations should be got vacated forcibly immediately after expiry of entitlement. There should be a rule both for Centre and states to discontinue unethical practice of providing government-bungalows to retired political rulers including even Presidents, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers like exists even in most developed nation USA.

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