LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has handed over the keys of the official bungalow allotted to him on Vikramaditya Marg in Lucknow to the Uttar Pradesh estate department, an official said today.
The move comes after the Supreme Court on May 7 observed that former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office.
The estate department had issued notices to six former chief ministers - Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Akhilesh Yadav - to vacate their official bungalows in compliance with the order.
"Akhilesh Yadav yesterday night handed over the keys of the government bungalow allotted to him to the estate department," department official Yogesh Kumar Shukla told PTI.
"Now only former chief minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari has to vacate his bungalow and hand over the keys," Shukla said. Ujjwala Tiwari, wife of N D Tiwari, has sought more time from the estates department, pleading that her husband was in Delhi in the "last stages" of his life.
"He is bed-ridden for the past eight months and I am also not keeping well. It is not practically possible for me to come down to Lucknow and vacate the premises," she had told PTI over the phone on June 2.
Asked about the video clips circulating on social media that Yadav's bungalow was damaged, Shukla said: "We will check our inventory as to what things were provided by us, and what works were done by us. If shortcomings are detected and damages done intentionally are found, we will serve a notice to the occupant."
The Samajwadi Party said the video clips were aimed at tarnishing Yadav's image as his popularity was continuously growing after the party's success in recent bypolls in the state.
"This is an attempt by the government of Yogi Adityanath to misguide the people of the state and tarnish the image of Akhilesh Yadav," SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said.
He asked why the official bungalows occupied by Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh were not shown to the media after they vacated them.
"The reason is that after the electoral losses in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur, the popularity of Akhilesh Yadav is increasing, and it has given reasons to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to worry."
Sajan also asked why no estate department official was present when the bungalow Yadav vacated was shown to the media.
"We dare the UP government to provide a list of work done by it and the estate department and the trees planted by them. The estate department should issue a list of inventory pertaining to the bungalow of Akhilesh Yadav," he said.