The UP government Thursday served notices to six former chief ministers — Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, SP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati and Congress veteran N D Tiwari — to vacate government bungalows in Lucknow within the next 15 days.
This is in line with the order of the Supreme Court which on May 7 struck down a provision in the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act that made former chief ministers eligible for official accommodation even after the end of their term.
Notices were served a day after Mulayam Singh Yadav met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and was said to have brought up the matter of the official bungalows. A senior official said the SP patriarch was hoping to find a way out and even suggested that the bungalows occupied by him and Akhilesh Yadav be allotted to SP’s Ram Govind Chaudhary and Ahmed Hasan who are Leaders of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad.
“The suggestion regarding allotment of bungalows occupied by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav to Leaders of Opposition in both Houses did come up during a courtesy meeting of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister yesterday but the government will go according to rules,” the official said.
Ram Govind Chaudhary, Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, said: “Yes, I have also come to know that a suggestion was made regarding the allotment of bungalows of Netaji and Akhileshji to the Leaders of Opposition in the Assembly and Council. We have no objection. In fact, we would be happy.”
But Yogesh Kumar Shukla, Special Secretary and Estate Officer, told The Indian Express: “After getting clearance from the Law department and the state government, we served notices to the six former Chief Ministers to vacate their official residences within the next 15 days in compliance with the Supreme Court order dated May 7.”
Akhilesh Yadav’s bungalow was renovated and allotted to him just before the 2017 assembly election. For the past 27 years, Mulayam Singh Yadav has been living at 5, Vikramaditya Marg. Like Akhilesh, Mayawati’s official bungalow too was renovated and expanded when she was Chief Minister from 2007 to 2012.