BSP chief Mayawati stays at ‘memorial’, vacates another bungalow instead
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday vacated a bungalow in Lucknow while the Estate Department had sent notice to her to vacate a different bungalow which also serves as a memorial to BSP founder Kanshiram.
The Estate Department’s notice followed a Supreme Court order on May 7 stating that former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office.
Mayawati vacated the bungalow on 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg while the Estate Department notice was for vacating the bungalow on 13A Mall Avenue.
Mayawati vacating the bungalow on 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg was not without drama. After the staff of the Estate Department refused to take the possession of the bungalow her personal secretary, Mewa Lal Gautam sent the letter to Estate Officer informing him that the BSP chief had vacated the bungalow, the keys of the bungalow was also sent to the Estate Officer through speed post.
“The copy of the electricity bill that she had deposited Rs 73,69,487 power dues was also sent to the Estate Officer. The letter and keys was received at the Estate Department on Wednesday,” Gautam said.
On Friday (June 25) Mayawati had shot off a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, stating that the estate department’s direction to vacate the 13A Mall bungalow in consonance with a Supreme Court order was wrong. The bungalow was converted into a memorial to Kanshi Ram on January 13, 2011 and named Sri Kanshiram Ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal, she said.
She said was ready to vacate the bungalow on 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg that was allotted to her as the official residence of the former chief minister on December 23, 2011 in view of her security and other requirements.
The state government had forwarded BSP chief’s letter to the Law Department for opinion. But before the Law Department could give its view she surprised the Estate Department by vacating the bungalow on 6 Lal Bahadur Shashtri Marg while the 13A Mall Avenue bungalow continue to be under her possession.
Caught unawares by Mayawati’s move the Estate Department engineer refused to accept the keys of the Lal Bahadur Shastri bungalow as well as the letter intimating them that she had vacated the bungalow. Later her personal secretary sent the letter and keys of the bungalow to Estate Officers through speed post.
“The principal secretary Estate Department and principal secretary, Chief Minister had been also informed that BSP chief had vacated the bungalow. The security and maintenance of the bungalow now rests with the Estate Department,” said her personal secretary.
A Estate Department officer said, they will wait the opinion of the Law Department over the issue. The Estate Department had directed the BSP chief to vacate the bungalow on 13A Mall Avenue. The Estate Department is also scanning the document regarding the transformation of the residential bungalow into a memorial, he said.
Mayawati also urged the chief minister to direct the estate department to issue a fresh notice, asking her to vacate the bungalow on 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (instead of the one at 13A Mall Avenue).
Earlier, BSP leaders had said that Mayawati will shift to the bungalow on 9 Mall Avenue that she purchased on November 3, 2010. In the affidavit submitted during the Rajya Sabha election in 2012, Mayawati has stated that the value of the 9 Mall Avenue bungalow was Rs 16 crore.
On Monday, former UP chief ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav moved the Supreme Court seeking “appropriate time” for vacating their official residences allocated by the Uttar Pradesh government.