Four of six ex-UP CMs vacate official-bungalows after SC order
A day before the expiry of the Supreme Court deadline to vacate official bungalows, former UP Chief Ministers Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh moved to VVIP Guest House in Lucknow. Akhilesh shifted along with wife, MP Dimple, and children. Chief Management Officer of VVIP Guest House Rajiv Kumar said one double-room suite each was allotted to Akhilesh, Dimple, and Mulayam. Here's more.
Acting on a Supreme Court order last month, UP Estate Department issued notices to six former Chief Ministers - Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam, Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh, and Akhilesh - asking them to vacate their official bungalows within 15 days that expires tomorrow. The SC had on May 7 held that former UP CMs cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office.
Of the six CMs, Akhilesh and Mulayam shifted to VVIP Guest House. Tiwari is yet to do so with his wife Ujjwala seeking more time from Estate Department, pleading that her husband is in the "last stages" of his life. A board reading "Pandit Narain Dutt Tiwari Sarvjan Vikas Foundation" has been fixed outside Tiwari's Mall Avenue bungalow in a bid to save it.
Mayawati, meanwhile, vacated one official residence, but held on to a second sprawling bungalow, claiming it was converted into a memorial for BSP Founder Kanshi Ram. Her personal secretary said she vacated on May 29 the 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg bungalow, which was allotted to her as former Chief Minister. Mayawati claimed that the 13A Mall Avenue bungalow was Kanshi Ram's memorial.
The Estate Department, however, rejected Mayawati's claim that 13A Mall Avenue is Kanshi Ram's memorial while adding the 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg residence, which she vacated, was still under her illegal possession. Mayawati has to vacate Mall Avenue residence as per SC order, a senior official said. BSP also installed a board reading "Shri Kanshi Ram Ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal" at that bungalow.
A BSP delegation met CM Yogi Adityanath and claimed that the Mall Avenue bungalow was converted into a Kanshi Ram memorial in 2011 and Mayawati occupied only two rooms in it. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is also the local MP, shifted from his Kalidas Marg bungalow to his residence on 200 square meter plot at Vipul Khand in posh Gomti Nagar.
Rajasthan Governor and former UP CM Kalyan Singh's belongings have been moved to the official bungalow of his grandson Sandeep Singh, who is a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government. The SC order came on a public interest litigation filed by NGO Lok Prahari following an amendment passed by UP Assembly which allowed all the former Chief Ministers to occupy government bungalows for lifetime.
The SC struck down the amendment to the legislation which allowed them to retain the government accommodation even after demitting office. The NGO had challenged the amendment made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances, and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981.