The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a probe into the damages done in the residences of former Chief Ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav before they were vacated over the weekend on directives of the Supreme Court, an official said on Monday. “We have the inventory of these houses and they would be matched with whatever was there at the time the possession was taken back by the Rajya Sampatti Vibhaag, after a detailed list of the missing items is prepared, notice would be issued and recoveries would be made,” a senior Estate Department official told IANS.
The matching of the items, including lights and other fixtures, would also be done at the residences of former Chief Ministers Kalyan Singh, Mayawati and Rajnath Singh, the official added. Former Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari, who is critically ill and admitted at a Delhi hospital, however, has not vacated his official residence and his wife has sought one year which has been rejected by the Estate Department. The extended deadline of June 3, given on compassionate grounds, is also over. Rajya Sampatti Adhikari Yogesh Shukla said that anyone who has damaged government property will not be spared and recoveries will be done as per law.
An Estate Department team, which went on Saturday to the 4, Vikramditya Marg residence allocated to Akhilesh Yadav after he left it, said the former Chief Minister had left the house, built under his watch at a cost of Rs 42 crore, in bad shape. Officials, accompanied by photographers, got the residence photographed extensively to show the damages done when the property was being vacated. Officials told IANS that barring a marble temple in one corner of the house, the entire house had been damaged.
Expensive floor and wall tiles, lamination, and marble slabs have been damaged beyond repair and the electricity switchboards, switches have also been ripped off, said an official. All the air-conditioning ducts in the centrally air-conditioned house, which was rebuilt and renovated by the then SP government at the fag end of its tenure, have been plucked out, he added. The all-weather swimming pool has also been filled with sand while the imported tiles it was lined with have all been broken, an official told IANS. Iron angles can be seen protruding at various places and many gates inside the house have also been damaged, they said.
Tiles of the badminton court, as well as the nets, have also been ripped off and all the ACs, TV, furniture, and fans have also been shifted out, the official said while pointing out that they will now check the inventory of the stuff sanctioned to him and will cross check it with whatever is left behind.
As soon as pictures of the damaged house came out in the public domain, the BJP and SP leaders engaged in a verbal spat, with several state ministers slamming Akhilesh Yadav for damaging many parts of his house before vacating it “grudgingly”. Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh said such damage was “saddening” and in fact was a contempt of the apex court, while BJP spokesman Rakesh Tripathi said the “mindset and the culture” of Akhilesh Yadav had been exposed now. Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chowdhary, however, has denied these charges saying the government has deliberately hatched this conspiracy to defame their party chief.