Beating the deadline to vacate their official bungalows in Lucknow, Samajwadi leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav shifted to a government guest house and BSP chief Mayawati moved out of what she calls a memorial to party founder Kanshi Ram.
Out of the six former UP chief ministers asked to comply with a Supreme Court order, only Congress veteran Narayan Dutt Tiwari has not given up the government accommodation as the deadline expires today.
“Mulayam Singh Yadav shifted to the VVIP guest house here Friday, while Akhilesh Yadav, along with his MP wife Dimple and children, shifted here house today,” the guest house’s chief management officer Rajiv Kumar said on saturday.
The Samajwadi Party leaders have been given a double-room suite each on the first floor, an official said.
Officials said a room can be booked at the guest house for only three days. After this, the occupants have to apply for an extension.
Acting on the SC order last month, the UP estates department had issued notices to six former chief ministers asking them to vacate their bungalows within 15 days.
The apex court had on May 7 held that nobody was entitled to government accommodation as a former UP chief minister.
Ujjwala Tiwari, the wife of N D Tiwari, has sought more time from the estates department, pleading that her husband was in Delhi in the “last stages” of his life.
“He is bed-ridden for the past eight months and I am also not keeping well. It is not practically possible for me to come down to Lucknow and vacate the premises,” she told PTI over the phone.
She said that there was no reply so far to her letter to the estates department in which she sought more time to vacate the bungalow.
“I will try to find out what happened to my plea,” she said.
A board reading ‘Pandit Narain Dutt Tiwari Sarvjan Vikas Foundation’ hangs outside Tiwari’s Mall Avenue bungalow.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati called a press conference on saturday to announce that she was vacating the “small portion” occupied by her of the sprawling bungalow at 13-A, Mall Avenue.
She said from now on the entire bungalow will be a “memorial” to Kanshi Ram.
Her party claims that the bungalow initially allotted to Mayawati was converted into a memorial in a decision taken by the UP Cabinet in 2011.
She had earlier handed over a second government bungalow at 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, saying this was the one that was allotted to her as former chief minister.
But the estates department had said the Shastri Marg bungalow was in her “illegal” possession. The department wanted her to vacate the one on Mall Avenue, which she did on saturday.
The estates department had issued notices to Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is also the local MP, has shifted from his bungalow at 4, Kalidas Marg, just next to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath home, to his private residence on a 200-sqm plot in posh Gomti Nagar here.
Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh’s belongings have been moved to the official bungalow of his grandson Sandeep Singh, who is a minister in the Adityanath government.
The Supreme Court’s order came on a public interest litigation filed by NGO Lok Prahari following an amendment passed by the assembly to the UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981.
The amendment allowed all former chief ministers to occupy government bungalows for lifetime.
The bench had said the amendment was arbitrary and violated the concept of equality. PTI