Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Loses Lifetime Perks, Vacates J&K Guesthouse, Other Former CMs To Follow
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has vacated his government accommodation in Srinagar’s VVIP zone, which used to be a lifetime perk to all former chief ministers of the state until the abrogation of Articles 370.
The move comes ahead of November 1 transition when the state would be officially bifurcated into two union territories-Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Chief Minister of state from November 2005 to July 2008 and had kept the possession of a J&K Bank guesthouse at Zeethyar on Gupkar Road all these years.
In addition to Azad, other former CMs availing the lifetime perks of staying in government accommodation have also been directed to vacate their respective residences. Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah will also have to vacate their bungalows by November 1.
Azad had alleged that government guest houses were converted into prisons where political leaders were held. “Most government guest houses in Kashmir were converted into prisons, political leaders are being held there. All my conversations with people who came to meet me were being recorded. If you know you are being recorded, who will dare speak the truth?” Azad told the media in a party briefing.
Most Govt guest houses in Kashmir were converted into prisons, political leaders are being held there. All my conversations with people who came to meet me were being recorded. If you know you are being recorded, who will dare speak the truth: @ghulamnazad pic.twitter.com/51FEYpw87s
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 30, 2019
Many of the former CMs have enjoyed the perks of the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature Members’ Pension Act, 1984, which permitted them to use the government properties and amenities for the rest of their lives. However, after November 1, all these benefits will cease to exist when the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 comes into action.
The administration has appointed a team which has listed all government assets in the bungalows, including furniture, gadgets and gym equipment. Apart from Azad, every former CM has spent crores of rupees on furnishing their official bungalows according to their requirements.