New Delhi, May 30: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday vacated her bungalow in Lucknow in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, a news agency ANI reported. The bungalow was allotted to her in the capacity of former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. But she is still holding on to a second sprawling bungalow which her party says is a memorial to their founder Kanshi Ram. Her personal secretary said she has vacated the bungalow on 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg which was allotted to her as the former chief minister. His press release said the bungalow was vacated yesterday in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court.
On May 17, the Uttar Pradesh government had issued notices to six former state CMs to vacate official bungalows. The notices sent by the Estate Department had asked the former chief ministers to vacate the bungalows in 15 days. Those served notices included Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.
According to other media reports, the UP government had sent her a notice asking her to vacate another bungalow, 13A, Mall Avenue, which the party says is a memorial to BSP founder Kashi Ram.
Meanwhile, 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 ministers currently occupy prime government properties in the high-security VVIP zone in the state capital.
The Supreme Court had ordered that former Chief Ministers are not entitled to government accommodation for the lifetime. A bench headed by Justice Anil R Dave, which pronounced its verdict on a 2004 plea, said that any such government accommodation should be vacated within two to three months. The judgment came on a plea filed by a UP-based NGO Lok Prahari, which had sought a direction against allotment of government bungalows to ex-CMs and other “non-eligible” organisations. The NGO had alleged that despite the direction of Allahabad High Court, the UP government had framed ex-Chief Minister’s Residence Allotment Rules, 1997 (non-statutory) for allotting bungalows to successive ex-chief ministers.
(with agency inputs)