“The Supreme Court verdict should be implemented in the state. The expenditure incurred on facilities extended to former chief ministers ultimately burdens the public,” Kishore Sahdeo, spokesman of the Jharkhand unit of the Congress, told IANS.
Jharkhand has five former chief ministers belonging to various parties retaining their state government-provided bungalows: Babulal Marandi (JVM-P), Arjun Munda (BJP), Madhu Koda (independent), Shibu Soren and Hemant Soren (both JMM).
They not only live in sprawling bungalows, but have also been provided with security staff, personal assistants and other facilities.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Chief Shibu Soren occupies the largest bungalow — near Morbadi ground of Ranchi city.
A state guest house situated near Morabadi ground was turned into official residence of Babulal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).
Another guest house situated near old jail of Ranchi was converted into a house for BJP’s Arjun Munda.
The decision to provide former chief ministers with bungalows was first taken in 2003 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Arjun Munda. It was to provide an official accommodation to Babulal Marandi who had quit as chief minister after MLAs belonging to coalition partners revolted against him.
The bungalow facility was withdrawn briefly in 2010 when President’s Rule was imposed in Jharkhand before being restored the same year by Arjun Munda when he became the chief minister again.
During that brief period, only Babulal Marandi quit his bungalow while others did not. Marandi again accepted the facility when it was restored.
The instability that has characterised successive Jharkhand governments since the state’s formation in 2000 has meant that there have been too many claimants of the expensive facility.
Jharkhand has seen six chief ministers since its creation in 2000 as no government has so far survived more than 28 months. The Congress has never been in power in the state