2 years on, min­is­ter con­tin­ues to run camp of­fice from MC house

AC­TION SOUGHT in a let­ter to chief min­is­ter Khat­tar, for­mer Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ba­tra has de­manded ac­tion against min­is­ter of state for co­op­er­a­tion Man­ish Grover for oc­cu­py­ing a res­i­den­tial build­ing of Ro­htak civic body

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - PUNJAB - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

RO­HTAK: Haryana min­is­ter of state for co­op­er­a­tion Man­ish Grover has been run­ning his camp of­fice from a res­i­den­tial house be­long­ing to the Ro­htak mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion (MC) for the past two years now.

For­mer Ro­htak MLA Bharat Bhushan Ba­tra of the Congress on Satur­day de­manded ac­tion against Grover by writ­ing a let­ter to chief min­is­ter Manohar Lal Khat­tar.

HT had first pub­lished a re­port about Grover run­ning his of­fice from a gov­ern­men­towned build­ing in Ro­htak in 2016.

Re­act­ing to the news item, Congress MLAS had then cre­ated ruckus dur­ing the as­sem­bly ses­sion de­mand­ing ac­tion against Grover.

The min­is­ter had then va­cated the govern­ment build­ing, but soon oc­cu­pied a res­i­den­tial house be­long­ing to the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion (MC) to run his of­fice.

Since then, he has been oc­cu­py­ing the res­i­den­tial house. “It is to­tally il­le­gal. This govern­ment that preaches hon­esty and vows to end cor­rup­tion has not both­ered to check on its own min­is­ter who has been wrongly us­ing his po­si­tion for per­sonal ben­e­fit.

When Congress comes to power, it will re­cover a fine of 50 times the rent of this house from Grover’s pen­sion,” Ba­tra said while ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in Ro­htak on Satur­day.

The Congress leader also blamed for­mer Ro­htak deputy com­mis­sioner (DC) for work­ing hand in glove with Grover in let­ting him oc­cupy govern­ment prop­er­ties for per­sonal use.

De­spite HT’S re­peated phone calls and text mes­sages, Grover could not be con­tacted.

How­ever, the Ro­htak mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion main­tained that the min­is­ter’s oc­cu­pa­tion of the MC house was le­gal.

“The min­is­ter has been al­lot­ted the camp of­fice for pub­lic in­ter­est af­ter his re­quest that cited his re­quire­ment for an of­fice to hear griev­ances of the com­mon pub­lic. Two out of three quar­ters for mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion (sic) in Ro­htak were va­cant at that time and one of them was al­lot­ted to the min­is­ter,” the MC said in a state­ment on Satur­day.

How­ever, HT had re­ported ear­lier that the quar­ter given to Grover was oc­cu­pied by an ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the MC at that time and he was asked to move out of the house so that Grover could set up his of­fice.

In re­sponse to an RTI plea filed by lawyer Poonam Rani, the MC main­tained the oc­cu­pa­tion of the house bu the min­is­ter was le­gal, but chose not to an­swer ques­tions re­gard­ing any prece­dent of a cabi­net min­is­ter or min­is­ter of state run­ning his camp of­fice on govern­ment ex­pen­di­ture.

It is to­tally il­le­gal. The govern­ment preaches hon­esty and vows to end cor­rup­tion. But it has not both­ered to check on its min­is­ter us­ing his po­si­tion for per­sonal ben­e­fit. BHARAT BHUSHAN BA­TRA, for­mer Ro­htak MLA

Min­is­ter Man­ish Grover

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