Bhopal, Juy 28: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday allowed three former CMs-Uma Bharti, Kailash Chandra Joshi and Babulal Gaur, to retain govt bungalows using his 'discretionary powers'. However, Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh's name was not included in the list.
Of the four, Uma Bharti is a minister in the Union government, Babulal Gaur is an MLA and Digvijaya Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP. Kailash Joshi is the only person who does not hold any office.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had asked all former chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh who are occupying government accommodation for life to vacate them within one month.
The order was given on a petition filed by a law student Raunaq Yadav challenging the April 24, 2017 order of the state government that allowed all ex-CMs of the state to retain government accommodation for life and enjoy perks similar to that of a cabinet minister.
The petition had said that the state government had passed an ordinance to amend the MP Ministers (Salaries and Allowances) Act, 1972 to allow ex-CMs to continue living in government accommodation. The petition argued that this ordinance was against existing laws and also a waste of public money.
The petition also pointed out that the Supreme Court in an order (Uttar Pradesh vs Lok Prahari case) had held that allowing a former chief minister to retain government accommodation was wrong. Apart from the state government, former chief ministers Joshi, Bharti, Gaur and Singh were also made respondents.