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Shivpal allotted bungalow vacated by Mayawati, UP govt defends move

Hardly a month after Shivpal applied for registration of his political front with the Election Commission, he was allotted the bungalow located a few yards from the chief minister’s office.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2018 20:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
mayawati,shivpal,mayawati bunglow
Lucknow: A view of Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati's old office 6/LBS which is now allotted to Samajwadi Party senior leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, in Lucknow, Friday, Oct 12, 2018. (AP)

The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday allotted the bungalow on 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg — vacated by BSP president Mayawati on May 30 following a Supreme Court order — to Samajwadi Secular Morcha (SSM) chief Shivpal Yadav.

The allotment of the bungalow on Mall Avenue to Shivpal is being seen by political observers as a sign of growing bonhomie between Shivpal and the ruling BJP.

On May 7 this year, the Supreme Court had struck down a provision of an Uttar Pradesh law that let former chief ministers retain government bungalows.

Former chief ministers Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh, ND Tiwari and Kalyan Singh had to vacate their bungalows.

Hardly a month after Shivpal applied for registration of his political front with the Election Commission, he was allotted the bungalow located a few yards from the chief minister’s office.

Interestingly, the office of frontal organisations of the Samajwadi Party is located adjacent to the bungalow.

Justifying the allotment, estate officer Yogesh Shukla said Shivpal was a senior politician and a five-time MLA.

“He is eligible for allotment of Category 6 bungalow. The estate department had also received an application from him for allotment of a government accommodation according to his seniority. The bungalow on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg was lying vacant and has been allotted to him,” he said.

Presently, Shivpal is managing political activities from his house on Vikramaditya Marg.

The decision has not gone down well with the opposition parties which had been served notice by the estate department to vacate their premises.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ramesh Dixit said the state government had allotted bungalow to the leader of a political party which was still in its nascent stage while national and regional parties were being served notices to vacate offices allotted by the estate department.

“This clearly shows the dual policy of the BJP government. The parties that toe its line are allotted bungalows while opposition parties are threatened with notices,” he said.

As Shivpal was busy in a programme organised to mark the death anniversary of socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia, a large number of Samajwadi Secular Morcha supporters reached the bungalow with estate department officials.

Upendra Singh, a Shivpal supporter, said: “The bungalow will be used as the office of the Morcha. Shivpal has also launched frontal organisations which will be accommodated in the bungalow. The estate department has been asked to deck up the bungalow. Shivpal is likely to arrive here during the ongoing auspicious days of Navratri.”

An estate department officer, who did not wish to be named, said the bungalows vacated by other former CMs would also be allotted to senior politicians.

The estate department has also issued notices to three trusts — Veer Bahadur Singh Sewa Sansthan, Mahatam Rai Trust and Ambedkar Mahasabha — to vacate the bungalows allotted to them within four months in view of the apex court order.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 18:28 IST

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