Board declares Mayawati’s official bungalow in Lucknow as Kanshiram memorial
BSP chief Mayawati currently lives in the sprawling 13 A Mall Avenue bungalow in her capacity as a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.india Updated: May 21, 2018 21:03 IST
Days after notices were served to six former UP chief ministers to vacate their government bungalows in Lucknow in consonance with a Supreme Court order, the BSP claimed that Mayawati’s residence was a memorial to party founder Kanshi Ram.
On the other hand, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has sought permission to stay for two more years citing security reasons.
In support of the BSP’s claim, a board describing the sprawling bungalow of Mayawati as Sri Kanshiram Ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal was put up on the boundary wall of the premises at 13A Mall Avenue on Monday.
Till Sunday, the bungalow was the four-time UP chief minister’s official residence.
The development came after the estate department issued notices on May 17, asking the ex-CMs to vacate the bungalows within 15 days.
As Mayawati was in Delhi, her staff received the order in Lucknow. A senior BSP leader said she occupied a few rooms in the memorial and she will vacate them and shift to the nearby bungalow number 9 that she had purchased in 2010.
Since the bungalow had been converted into a memorial of Kanshi Ram, it would remain in the possession of the party, they said.
Estate officer Yogesh Shukla, however, said the bungalow was not the BSP’s property but belonged to the state government.
He said once Mayawati vacated the premises, the estate department would decide on its use. The rooms vacated by the BSP chief would be used as government offices, he said.
To this, a BSP leader said the bungalow was converted into a memorial in 2009 when the BSP was in power (2007-12) as Kanshi Ram used to stay in the bungalow.
“The bungalow has a museum and a library. The memorial cannot be converted into a government office or be used for another purpose. The BSP will oppose it if the state government decides to transform the Dalit icon’s museum (into anything else),” he said.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has written to the estate officer and sought permission to stay in bungalow number 4 on the posh Vikramaditya Marg for another two years, saying he does not have any alternative suitable residential premises to accommodate the security he enjoys as a former chief minister.
He said as former chief minister, the administration had provided him Z-plus security cover (including NSG commandos), for which adequate space was required.
Being the national president of the party, he had a large number visitors, he said. Without making appropriate arrangements, he could not move out of the bungalow, he said.
Estate officer Shukla said, “I will remind the SP chief about the Supreme Court order, directing all the former CMs to vacate the bungalows. I will seek the law department’s opinion regarding Akhilesh Yadav’s request. The estate department, in its letter, had told him to vacate the bungalow within 15 days as the earlier allotment order had become void.”
The estate department has also issued notices to former chief ministers Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and ND Tiwari.
Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh have informed the estate department that they will vacate the bungalows within a few days. The estate department is yet to receive communication from Mulayam Singh Yadav and ND Tiwari.
The Supreme Court had on May 7 struck down the amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1981 to provide for allotment of government residence to former chief ministers at his/her request for lifetime, terming it “unconstitutional”.
The Sc had on August 1, 2016 ordered cancellation of allotment of government bungalows to former chief ministers, observing that the allotment of houses made to former chief ministers, private bodies and individuals was bad in law. The Akhilesh Yadav government had in 2016 amended the Act, which was challenged by a Lucknow-based non-profit organisation Lok Prahari.
First Published: May 21, 2018 19:39 IST