The BJP state headquarters in Lucknow is undergoing a revamp with the party carrying out fresh construction of a double-storey building and a separate area for parking of vehicles.
Significantly, the party has started the construction work without taking No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Estate Department of the UP government that owns the property — 7, Vidhan Sabha Marg — allotted to the BJP on rent several years ago.
Some ministers in the state assembly had, during the recent Budget session, suggested taking the building’s possession back from the BJP after its youth wing workers staged violent protest outside the building, which stands opposite to Vidhan Bhawan, over law and order issue.
Rajya Sampatti Adkhikari (RSA) Raj Kishore Yadav, however, said he is “not aware of any construction work going on at BJP office.”
“Nor has the Estate Department given permission for any such work. I will have to look into the matter,” he added.
He did confirm that the building is owned by the Estate Department and BJP cannot begin any construction work without obtaining NOC from it. “So far, I have not received any application from BJP seeking NOC for any construction work,” Yadav said.
BJP, on the other hand, said the NOC is not required as the construction is not for commercial use. “Construction is being done for usual office use only. The Estate Department, which owns the property, is not funding the project; the work is being done using party’s own funds,” BJP office in-charge Bharat Dixit said.
Sources in BJP said a conference floor is being constructed in the open space near the main entrance. The hall will be used for meeting the party workers. This will be a full-fledged office equipped with computers and fax machines. The hall will also have separate cabins for party state president Laxmikant Bajpai and general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal.
“Staff will be deployed to draft covering letters on applications of party workers and forward that to the departments and ministries concerned in the state and Central government,”said a BJP leader.
Another floor will have four rooms where offices of different wings and cells of the party would be set up. Offices of these party wings and cells are on the first floor of the building at present. “The space that will be created after these offices are shifted will be used for providing accommodation to organisation leaders who stay here permanently or who come from different districts for meetings,” Dixit said.
A covered parking lot is being constructed at another side of the campus near the office of party’s media cell. Construction material has already been dumped with iron pillars erected at the site.
Bajpai said that work at the site has been stopped as the budget was exceeding than what was earlier estimated. He said there is no NOC issue with the Estate Department.
Dixit confirmed work at the site has been stopped from August 19 when party’s national president Amit Shah had visited the party office. “Labourers went on leave from August 19. They will come back soon and work will resume,” he said.
Cabinet Minister Azam Khan during the recent Assembly session had suggested that offices of all political parties, including BJP, situated in the vicinity of Assembly be shifted immediately.