Known for bringing ill-luck to its VVIP inmates, the bungalow adjacent to the official residence of Uttar Pradesh chief minister got a new occupant on Wednesday.
UP’s minister for minor irrigation and livestock, SPS Baghel, moved in to 6 Kalidas Marg bungalow after a special puja on auspicious Ram Navmi day.
Sandwiched between the official residence of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and that of the deputy chief minister, the bungalow has a reputation that its occupants either fade into political oblivion or meet with some kind of misfortune including illness or even jail.
Till date no minister in the Yogi Adityanath government had shown interest in moving in this bungalow until Baghel asked the estate department to allot it to him.
“All those who went to jail would have gone there anyway. It’s not the house but deeds that determine one’s fate. In any case, our chief minister is also a revered head priest and I am sure I won’t be harmed in his shadow as I am chief minister’s immediate neighbour,” the Uttar Pradesh minister said while making it clear that he wasn’t afraid.
Interestingly, not just politicians, even officers who have stayed here in the past met with ill luck, further strengthening the notion of the bungalow being jinxed.
Previous political occupants of 6 Kalidas Marg were Amar Singh, Waqar Ahmad Shah, Babu Singh Kushwaha with Javed Abidi being its last occupant.
Abidi who was considered close to former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was sacked as chairman of UP pollution control board within months of moving in. Babu Singh Kushwaha who was an influential minister in the Bahujan Samaj Party regime lost his clout towards the end of BSP government, got named in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam and was eventually jailed.
Waqar Ahmad Shah, the other minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government took ill soon after moving in. He never returned back to work after slipping into coma.
Bureaucrats Neera Yadav and Pradeep Shukla who lived here had to go to jail. But Baghel’s friends and well-wishers are confident that the Yogi minister would beat the jinx.
“God is with him. No harm would come his way,” says Dr Ram Naresh, a close friend of the minister who had come especially from Mathura to meet the minister at his new bungalow.
In Uttarakhand too, the chief minister’s New Cantt Road bungalow was considered jinxed with the common belief being that a chief minister who moved in here was unable to complete the full term.
But new Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat chose to defy the jinx by moving in there in March.