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Nitish Kumar's Ministers Caught Renting Out Official Bungalows

An investigation by CNN-News18’s sister channel ETV Bihar has found that some ministers in the Nitish Kumar-led government have been renting out their official bungalows for private functions, including marriage parties for a huge sum of money.

Rupesh Kumar | CNN-News18

Updated:May 6, 2017, 7:35 PM IST
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Patna: They enjoy privileges and perks that a common man can only dream of. But that doesn’t seem to be enough for ministers in Bihar, who have been caught renting out their official bungalows for a quick buck.

An investigation by CNN-News18’s sister channel ETV Bihar has found that some ministers in the Nitish Kumar-led government have been renting out their official bungalows for private functions, including marriage parties for a huge sum of money.

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“The cost of space for a day exceeds Rs 2.5 lakh. Other facilities are available for a charge,” said an event manager at the sprawling bungalow of the state’s minority affairs minister Abdul Ghafoor, who is an MLA from Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Tents pitched for a private ceremony dot the premises now.

There was a similar scene at the official bungalow of Bihar’s art and culture minister Shivchandra Ram, who is also an MLA from RJD.

A security guard stationed outside the house provided details of middlemen who could broker a deal to hold marriage ceremonies at the prime property. He told this reporter that air-conditioned rooms for the bride and the groom could be booked inside the bungalow for a premium.

When asked, the minister dismissed the charges as 'baseless accusations’. “We are political people. I help out my colleagues if they don’t get venues for marriages. Please check if the security guard you are referring to is employed by me,” said Shivchandra Ram.

“There is an empty field behind my house. When people need it for marriages, I let them use it. I don’t take money from anybody,” he said. “Ask (BJP leader) Sushil Modi how his leaders have rented out government properties.”

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Hitting back, former deputy CM Sushil Modi questioned if Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would act now. “Marriages take place there every day. Even Nitish Kumar knows about it and he has attended several functions there. His government is doing nothing as the building construction department is run by the RJD… Will Nitish Kumar act now?”

The BJP leader said the CM must sack the two ministers and the BJP will sit on a dharna on May 14 over the issue.

Even JDU (U) MLA Narendra Singh’s bungalow was being used for commercial purpose.

Watch Operation Bungalow here:

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