Former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said he that will vacate the government accommodation at high profile Gupkar Road before the end of next month. The accommodation was allotted to him in 2002.
Omar posted on Twitter a letter addressed to administrative secretary Estates, Hospitality and Protocol Department on July 31 saying that he was voluntarily vacating the government accommodation provided to him 18 years ago due to the change in rules of entitlement in the Union Territory.
“My letter to the J&K administration. I will be vacating my government accommodation in Srinagar before the end of October. The point to note is that contrary to stories planted in the media last year I received no notice to vacate & have chosen to do so of my own accord,” the NC vice-president wrote on Twitter.
Omar was a Lok Sabha member when the government accommodation in the high security Gupkar area was provided to him in 2002. However, in the recent letter Omar says: “Consequent upon the change in entitlements for former CMs of J&K some months ago, I now find myself in an unauthorized occupation of this accommodation as no attempt has been made to regularise the allotment to me on security or any other grounds. This is a situation that is unacceptable to me.”
The NC vice-president said he has never held on to any government property that he was not entitled to and “I have no intention to start now”.
“This is to inform you that I have begun the search for a suitable alternate accommodation. The process is taking longer because of the concern caused by Covid-19. I intend to complete the process in 8-10 weeks and should be in a position to handover the Gupkar Road accommodation accordingly,” reads the letter.
It may be mentioned that former Chief Ministers in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State were entitled to government accommodation either in Jammu or Srinagar but this entitlement was withdrawn by the administration earlier this year.
When contacted, a senior Estates Department official wishing not to be named said: “It was a routine matter now that many former legislators and ex-ministers were handing over possession of the government accommodation which they are not entitled to now”.