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Rajnath operates from government guesthouse during Lucknow visit

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday operated from a government guesthouse, staying clear of his 4 Kalidas bungalow during his day’s visit to the state capital despite being well within the government set deadline for former chief ministers to vacate bungalows they hold as ex CMs.

lucknow Updated: May 29, 2018 16:11 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow visit,Uttar Pradesh,Rajnath Singh
Singh, who enjoys a Z plus security cover, held a ‘jan samvad’ at the Lucknow’s VVIP guest house before addressing a press conference on completion of Modi government’s four years in office at Lok Bhawan. (HT File)

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday operated from a government guesthouse, staying clear of his 4 Kalidas bungalow during his day’s visit to the state capital despite being well within the government set deadline for former chief ministers to vacate bungalows they hold as ex CMs.

He met people, party cadre and officials from the place which chief minister Yogi Adityanath had briefly made his home before moving into 5 Kalidas Marg , the official residence of the chief minister.

Singh, who enjoys a Z plus security cover, held a ‘jan samvad’ (public interaction) at the city’s VVIP guest house before addressing a press conference on completion of Modi government’s four years in office at Lok Bhawan.

Despite concern on his security, Rajnath is expected to shift to 3/206 Vipul Khand Gomti Nagar, a 2150 Sq ft LDA property he owns and which is currently being spruced up.

“He has always been a man of high moral values. While other chief ministers are busy clinging to their bungalows by citing technicalities, Rajnathji has already decided to shift out and operate out of the guest house,” said Lucknow BJP chief Mukesh Sharma.

On May 18, the estate department that manages the bungalows of the former chief ministers had, in keeping with a Supreme Court order of May 7, served eviction notices on all former CMs, giving them a 15 day deadline that ends June 2.

On May 7, the SC had quashed a government amendment passed by the Samajwadi Party government in UP allowing them to retain government accommodation for life.

The SC order had come while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Lucknow-based non-profit organisation Lokprahari that challenged the amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981.

Rajnath is well within the 15 day deadline but BJP leaders say that Singh, who was the first among all former CMs to immediately respond to the SC order, has decided to stay away from the bungalow that witnessed his political rise over the last two decades.

Rajnath’s aide Awadh Bihari said he had first moved into 4 Kalidas as UP BJP chief in the late 90s though he subsequently moved into 5 Kalidas Marg after becoming the chief minister in October 2000. After the fall of the BJP government in 2002, he moved to 4 Kalidas Marg where he continued to live until the SC order.

The bungalow had proved to be lucky to Rajnath as it was during his stay here that he became union minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, became national BJP chief thrice till his present assignment as the country’s home minister.

First Published: May 29, 2018 16:11 IST