No allotment, no rent paid: BJP Lok Sabha candidate Rovinit Singh Butto lived for 8 years in a government house that never belonged to him. Chandigarh News

A few hours before the BJP candidate filed his nomination papers from Ludhiana for the Lok Sabha elections Ronit Singh Butto He was accompanied by a notice from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation asking him to pay Rs 1.82 crore as rent, which he has been arrears against the government accommodation pending in the district since 2016. The notice, issued through WhatsApp on Thursday midnight, specified that they pay money to obtain the mandatory No Deus Certificate (NDC) issued for filing nomination papers.

The civic body in its latest notice to Bittu also said that the house was never allotted to him and he should vacate it. Because of this, Batu claimed that he was paying the monthly electricity and water bills of the house but never received any notice about the pending rent. Also, the civic body had issued an NDC certificate when Butto contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Batu, who spent the night at the BJP's election office, accused the ruling Aam Aadmi Party of trying to stop him from filing nominations, and claimed that he had to visit his native land to arrange the money within hours. Had to pledge.

The Indian Express explains what actually happened:

Was the government house in question ever allotted to MP Batu?

No, as per the records available with the Deputy Commissioner's Office and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the house in question (Kothi No. 6, Officers Colony, Rose Garden) was never allotted to the battu.

In a letter dated October 28, 2015 (copy with The Indian Express), the then Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana wrote to the Punjab government's Department of General Administration that an application for allotment of official residence from Butto had been received saying that “he On this basis, Z+ is a local MP who needs to spend time in his constituency and has no home in Ludhiana, the MC said in the letter A government house which was kept under the general pool for the use of the DC office was lying vacant and the letter recommended that the house be allotted to Batu.

However, the recommendation was rejected. In a reply dated November 10, 2015, (copy with Indian Express), the General Administration Department wrote to the DC: “There is no provision for allotment of houses to MPs as per the Punjab Government Houses (General Pool) Allotment Rules, 1983.” .

A festive offering

So what happened after the DC recommendation was rejected? When did Batu still move into the house?

On 23 November 2015, the DC of Ludhiana wrote another letter to the General Administration Department (copy with Indian Express), again recommending that Butto be allotted a government house “keeping in mind security reasons as he Z+ was a defender and a local MP who does not own a house in the city.

Enter the short article

But according to the records, no response was received on the second recommendation. Sakshi Sahni, the current DC of Ludhiana, told The Indian Express: “The said Kothi is not reflected in the list of houses allotted under the House Allotment Committee. Neither was it ever allotted by the DC office nor was it is maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD). It is owned and maintained by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and they also carry out repairs in the property from time to time. My predecessor had written to the Govt Allotment of house was recommended but it was rejected. This office apparently never took up the matter again.”

However, Ludhiana MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi says that in a letter dated December 17, 2015, the MC had transferred the said house to the DC-led House Allotment Committee for use under general pool. “The letter also correctly stated that the district administration has to collect the rent/water/sewerage charges from the residents and send them to the MC,” says Rishi.

The officer added that it was found that Bittu had shifted to the house in January 2016 but now the DC office has refused to allot the house to the MLA. “As per our records, the MC had already transferred the house to the district administration on his request. He (Bittu) even moved into the house in January 2016,” says Rishi. However, Sahni's Says: “We have no record of allotment of this property.”

Ronit Singh Butto Ronit Singh Butto's house which is still closed. (Express Photo Gurmeet Singh)

So, what did the MC do, even though Batu lived in the house but no rent was paid for eight years?

The civic body, despite knowing that Butu was staying in the house, failed to take any action or collect rent from the MLA. In fact, he did repair work. Kothi from time to time. Butto says he paid the monthly water and electricity bills but never received any notice about the house rent and other arrears. Says MC Commissioner Rishi: “Since we were under the impression that the house was allotted to the MP by the DC office, it is his responsibility to collect the rent and deposit it in the MC's account. It never happened.”

Did Batu announce the occupation of this house in his election affidavits?

No, he didn't. Butto did not mention this house in his affidavit. In his 2019 affidavit, under the category Government dues, he declared no dues only for his Delhi official residence “28, Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi”. In the fresh affidavit filed on Friday, he again mentioned only the Delhi residence as his official residence and not Ludhiana.

So how did Bito file his nomination papers for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections?

The civic body issued a No Dues Certificate (NDC) to Butu, which is required for filing nominations. “Yes, we have come to know that Bittu was issued NDC in 2019 on the basis that there were no outstanding dues in our records,” says Rishi.

How will the civic body wake up now? Has action been taken?

Butto filed for the NDC earlier this week before filing nomination for the 2024 elections, and the record was re-scrutinised. On May 8, the DC's office wrote to the MC that the said house was never allotted to Batu by his office. On the night of May 9, he was sent a notice by the municipal town planner saying that he had to pay dues of Rs 1.82 crore to get the NDC. The notice further stated that this amount was arrived at after estimating the market rate according to which they had liabilities of Rs 91.49 lakh from January 1, 2016 to May 8, 2024. But since they have been found alive. In the house “illegally”, he will have to pay double the rent as penalty, according to a notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, which translates to Rs 1.82 crore. The notice ordered Butto to vacate the house immediately and said that as per MC records no rent was ever collected against the house.

What did Bittu and BJP say?

Butto, who received the NDC on Friday after paying dues of Rs 1.82 crore, said he had to mortgage a portion of his ancestral land in Kotla Afghana village to arrange the money. He alleged that the 'frightened' AAP tried to block his nomination. “This house was allotted to me during the SAD-BJP government in 2016 due to security reasons. I contested two elections after that (2017 and 2019) but no notice was issued. I also paid electricity and water bills. were paid. Why was I never given notice? I am a Z plus guard. I am receiving regular threats from the Khalistanis. If anything happens to me, the CM and the DGP will be responsible.

Accusing him of calling his national convenor Arvind Kejriwal “homeless”, Bittu reached the BJP office late on Friday and spent the night there.

BJP's Punjab affairs in-charge and former Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani called it “a nefarious design by AAP to thwart the nominations of BJP candidates in Punjab”.

Which Congress, of which Batu was a part until last month, are you talking about?

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Rajawaring on Saturday said that an inquiry should be conducted as to how Batu managed to deposit Rs 1.82 crore in such a short time. “He is saying that he had to mortgage his land and jewels but it is a matter of investigation how he managed to arrange such a huge amount overnight. The money was already with him or sent by someone,” Waring said. asked, who is contesting elections against Butto in Ludhiana.

The Congress leader said that it is a policy that applies to everyone that one has to pay government dues before filing nomination. “This rule was not made specifically for Butto,” Waring said, adding that the development has called into question Butto's 2019 Lok Sabha election affidavit as he has since been charged rent for government accommodation. No dues certificate was issued without payment.

In 2019, Congress was in power in Punjab.

Waring said that Batu used to taunt me that I don't have a house in Ludhiana but despite being an MP, I could not build my house here in 10 years. “Oh, he couldn't be Ludhiana De Lokan Da himself (He failed to become his own to the people of Ludhiana),” said Waring, “Butto was a tourist who visited Ludhiana only during elections.”

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