Human rights activist Avdhash Kaushal has lashed out at Vijay Bahuguna for allotting himself a house in the cantonment area here just before he stepped down as Uttarakhand Chief Minister on Friday.

“This simply is a continuance of the unconstitutional and unethical trend being followed in Uttarakhand in which outgoing Chief Ministers allot themselves a big house and spend crores of rupees of public money for renovation,” Mr. Kaushal said here, adding such acts were “criminal,” in the cash-strapped State.

N.D. Tiwari allotted himself a palatial bungalow on the campus of the prestigious Forest Research Institute; Bhagat Singh Koshiary, a huge bungalow on the main Cantonment Road; Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, a palatial building that had been used as the guest house of the Chief Minister and the Governor.

Similarly, B.C. Khanduri got himself two big adjacent bungalows in the posh Minister’s colony to live in after retirement.

Mr. Kaushal has filed a writ petition in the Uttarakhand High Court, challenging the huge expenditure on facilities extended to former Chief Ministers.

Burden on job-seekers

The activist criticised Mr. Bahuguna also for levying a job application fee of Rs. 500 on poor unemployed youth, saying the State could not bear the cost of processing job applications. However, the government doubled the pay and perks of MLAs and Ministers a few days ago.

“This shows that Mr. Bahuguna was never concerned about the common man,” Mr. Kaushal said.