As Mayawati makes preparations to shift to a new house in the wake of a Supreme Court order asking former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers to vacate their official accommodations, a board today came up on the government bungalow which the BSP chief currently occupies, declaring it as Sri Kanshiram Ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal. The BSP supremo currently lives in the sprawling 13 A Mall Avenue bungalow, in her capacity as a former chief minister of the state, and she has decided to move to another one just across the road to the 9, Mall Avenue, which she purchased in 2010.
This morning, however , the party got a new board on the 13-A building declaring it ‘Sri Kanshiram ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal’ (Sri Kanshiram ji memorial rest house). The board also carries a picture of BSP ideologue Kanshiram. Explaining reasons behind the new board, a senior BSP functionary said the bungalow has been associated with party founder Kanshiram in several ways. He claimed it was allotted in the name of Kanshiram and that is why the board has been put up.
However, when contacted, a senior officer in the Estate Department said, “As per our knowledge, the bungalow was allotted to Mayawati in her capacity as a former CM. But since a board has come up there in the name of Kanshiramji, we will look into our records.”
The Supreme Court had on May 7 said former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office, observing that a CM was at par with a common man once his or her term ends. Following the order, the Uttar Pradesh government on May 17 issued notices to six former state CMs to vacate official bungalows.
The notices sent by the Estate Department has asked the former chief ministers to vacate the bungalows in 15 days, a senior official said. Those served notices included Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Akhilesh Yadav. “The party chief (Mayawati) will vacate the government accommodation well before the 15 days given by the state’s Estate Department,” the BSP functionary added.
Former UP chief minister Rajnath Singh, currently the Union Home Minister, has made the first move to shift to his private house in the Gomti Nagar area, the other former CM Akhilesh Yadav has sought more time for vacating the government accommodation. Through a letter sent to the state’s Estate Officer, Akhilesh Yadav has sought permission for staying in the allotted premises for another two years.
Akhilesh has said he does not have any other suitable residential premises at Lucknow to stay in with his kind of security cover. All these former chief minister currently occupy prime government properties in the high-security VVIP zone in the state capital. The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari, challenging the amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981 which entitled former chief ministers to retain government bungalows for a lifetime.