Agartala, March 31: The Tripura government has allotted a house to former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar after he requested the same duplex bungalow that was provided to him while he was the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the State Assembly. This allotment was made by rules set to provide official accommodation to former Chief Ministers.
Manik Sarkar had served as the Chief Minister of Tripura for 20 years until his party lost to BJP in the 2018 assembly elections. After vacating the official residence, he initially moved to CPI(M)’s guest house at Melarmath locality in Agartala but later shifted to his current location.
According to an official of the Assembly Secretariat, former Chief Ministers are entitled to government accommodation as per rules framed in 1989 by the Congress-TUJS coalition government. The first Chief Minister of the territorial council and subsequent Assembly, Sachindra Lal Singh, was allotted a Type III quarter at Rabindra Palli in Agartala.
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Former CPI(M) Chief Minister Nripen Chakraborty stayed in MLA Hostel (Number 2) from 1988 till his demise. His successor Dasarath Deb returned to his private home at the end of his term as Chief Minister, while former Congress Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Barman has been living in his house. Biplab Kumar Deb, who was the Chief Minister for nearly 4.5 years, has not vacated his official bungalow.
Manik Sarkar was allotted the same duplex house after he wrote a letter to Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha on March 9 requesting to consider his request to allot the same official residence where he has been residing for the past 4.5 years. He had also written a letter to the Assembly Secretary.
The State government has also decided to keep his household staff and the official vehicle, while his security has not been downgraded.
In response to reports appearing in a section of the news media, the CPI(M) State committee issued a statement saying that Sarkar requested the house and facilities as per existing rules and criteria. It also refuted that Sarkar requested the Chief Minister to provide him with a plush vehicle.
Overall, the decision to allot an official residence to the former Chief Minister is in line with the rules and precedents set in the state, and the government’s decision to allow him to keep his staff and vehicle ensures that his security and convenience are not compromised.