Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said 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. Abdullah, who was a Lok Sabha member when the government accommodation in the high-security Gupkar area here was provided to him in 2002, released a letter on his Twitter handle that he had written in July this year.
He had informed the Administrative secretary concerned about his decision to vacate the Gupkar residence that was alloted to him first in 2002 as Member of Parliament from Srinagar and then after taking over as chief minister of the erstwhile State from 2009 to 2015 ”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,” he tweeted. The National Conference vice president said he is searching for suitable accommodation which may take eight to 10 weeks in view of the constraints caused by the COVID pandemic.
”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,” he said. Abdullah said he has never held on to any government property that he was not entitled to and ”I have no intention to start now”.
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Jammu and Kashmir State were entitled to government accommodation either in Jammu or Srinagar but this entitlement was withdrawn by the administration earlier this year.