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As many as 22 government bungalows or flats are occupied by high profile politicians and VIPs, the union Urban Development Ministry said in reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application.  

The latest list of 22 persons features several politicians like Congress’ Jagdish Tytler and Renuka Chowdhury, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, ex-Samajwadi Party MP Saleem Sherwani, lawyer Ram Jethmalani, and the family of former prime minister V.P. Singh, among others.

The list was given in a reply to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal who sought a list of unauthorised occupants of government bungalows and flats from the ministry.

Agrawal had asked what steps have been taken to throw the goods of unauthorised occupants like was done in case of former parliamentarian Ramdas Athawale, who was evicted from his government bungalow last year after he lost the Lok Sabha elections.

The ministry’s directorate of estates replied: “Such steps would be taken under the provision of P.P. (Public Premises) Act as and when considered necessary.”

“There are different yard-sticks even in tackling law-breaking unauthorized (VVIP) occupants of government accommodations. The latest list of such law-breaking VVIPs reveals that government has failed to take concrete steps to get government accommodations vacated from 22 encroachers even after 10 months of Lok Sabha elections and several RTI petitions, while extreme step of forceful eviction was taken in case of Ramdas Athawale and another,” Agrawal said.

“The government should explain why similar forceful eviction is not being done in case of remaining 22 VVIP encroachers,” he added.

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