Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran on Monday renounced the luxury of their official bungalows following adverse publicity against the huge expenditure incurred for the repair and maintenance of these buildings.

Mr. Balakrishnan shifted from Manmohan Bungalow, his official residence, to one of the flats of the CPI(M) located near the AKG Centre in the city. Mr. Divakaran returned to his own home at Manacaud, in another part of the city, from his official residence Xanadu.

"I am a humble person. I am afraid of this kind of attack," Mr. Divakaran, who represents the CPI in the Achuthanandan Ministry, told a press conference called to announce the shifting. Three hours later, Mr. Balakrishnan also convened a press conference to announce the shifting of his residence.

Replying to a question in the Assembly recently Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan had said that Mr. Balakrishnan had spent more than 17 lakh to refurbish Manmohan Bungalow. Mr. Divakaran spent more than Rs.11 lakh.

They both said they had nothing to do with the decisions on the repairs and maintenance.

The refurbishing works were decided at the level of Government officials holding charge of the ministerial bungalows.

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