BSP chief and former chief minister Mayawati on Friday claimed that the UP government had erroneously asked her to vacate Bungalow 13A on Mall Avenue, a memorial as per a 2011 government order.
In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati claimed that the property was marked as “Manyavar Shri Kansihram Yaadgaar Vishram Sthal” in 2011 by the UP Estate Department.
The same department had recently ordered her and other former chief ministers to vacate their government bungalows in line with a May 7 Supreme Court order that quashed a state law that allowed the same.
Three days ago, however, the nameboard “Manyavar Shri Kansihram Yaadgaar Vishram Sthal” appeared outside Bungalow 13A.
“… Bungalow number 13A Mall Avenue was allotted to me erroneously by the Estate Officer… the order to open Bungalow 13A Mall Avenue to the public as ‘Manyawar Shri Kanshiram Yaadgar Vishram Sthal’ was already passed on January 13, 2011. I even informed the Estate Officer about the mistake through a letter on January 9, 2017. It was requested that the mistake be rectified,” she wrote.
Mayawati was allotted Bungalow 6 after she demitted office as CM in 1995; when she was back as CM (2007-2012), she got 13A which she merged with Bungalow 6.
In the letter, she claimed she was occupying only two rooms of the earlier Bungalow 13A, which as per the 2011, would be merged with the memorial and would not be allotted to anyone else, if she were to vacate. It should be transferred to the government only after the security and care is ensured as any damage to the building would cause disturbance of law and order across the country, she wrote.
The letter was handed over to Adityanath at his residence by BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra and BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma.
“At Bungalow 13A we have the memories of Kanshiram ji, his statues and a library too,” said Lalji Verma. “We were not given any notice to vacate Bungalow 6. She will vacate Bungalow 6 if the government orders it but will need more time considering her personal staff who will have to be accommodated elsewhere.”
Earlier, The Indian Express had quoted Special Secretary and UP Estate Officer Yogesh Kumar Shukla who said that Bungalow 13A had been allotted to Mayawati. “I will check again if there is any mention of a guest house or anything like that in the old files. However, as far as I know, there is nothing like that,” he had said.
To this Verma said, “The whole confusion in the matter was created by Shukla ji and we met the CM to end that. In January 2017 after the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act was amended without any cabinet decision, the Estate Officer erroneously changed the residence allotted to us. We even informed him about this, but nothing happened.”
He further added that the chief minister has assured them to look into the matter and undo the mistakes, if any.
Despite multiple attempts, Shukla could not be reached for comment over the BSP’s claim.
Principal Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi said he only had information that a BSP delegation had met the Chief Minister and raised these concerns. “However we do not know anything about what the chief minister has said on this or how true these claims are,” he said.