Chief Minister does not see anything wrong in accepting the flats

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided to shift to a five-bedroom duplex flat in Central Delhi. He immediately came under attack from the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party for the move.

Mr. Kejriwal has been allotted two five-bedroom duplex flats in a DDA Officer’s Colony on Bhagwan Das Road, one of which he will use as his office.

The two houses have a built-up area of 9,000 square feet and are said to be larger than the bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi, occupied by the former Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit.

In the Assembly, BJP MLAs said Mr. Kejriwal’s decision to accept the flats was in “total contradiction” of the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that it would practise austerity. “The allotment of two big flats to the Chief Minister has exposed the party. It is in total contradiction of their stated position. Their resolve to remain aam aadmi has fallen flat,” BJP leader Sahab Singh Chauhan said.

The flats belong to the Delhi Development Authority but are maintained by the Public Works Department. The Chief Minister now lives in a modest four-bedroom house at Kaushambi in Ghaziabad.

Mr. Kejriwal, however, did not see anything wrong in accepting the flats. “I have been given two separate houses, each having five bedrooms. I will be living in one of those with my family, while using the other as my office where we can work late hours,” he told journalists. “Earlier, I was living in a four-bedroom apartment, that is the only difference.”

“The flats allotted are relatively modern constructions, and are only 15-20 years old. Since they are continuously renovated, they are better than some of the bungalows in Delhi as those were built in the 1920s and have a few problems,” a PWD official said. “The flats are smaller in terms of total area since the bungalows have a substantial amount of lawn space.”

The Congress appeared to steer clear of the controversy.

Congress Legislative Party leader Haroon Yusuf told The Hindu: “It is none of our concern what facilities they [the AAP] are availing themselves of. Our concern is that they should perform on the promises they have made to the people.”

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