Kalyan, Rajnath ready to vacate bungalows; MSY staff refuse to receive notice

Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh have informed the estate department that they will vacate the government bungalows allotted to them as former chief ministers, an official said.

But no specific dates have been mentioned by the duo, estate officer Yogesh Shukla said.

Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh are among the six former chief ministers who have been asked by the estate department to vacate the bungalows within 15 days in pursuance of a Supreme Court order.

A staffer at Rajnath Singh’s residence said the estate department has been informed the bungalow allotted to the Union home minister (4 Kalidas Marg) will be vacated on Sunday. Rajnath Singh is likely to shift to his private residence at Vipul Khand in Gomti Nagar, a person familiar with the matter said.

The estate department, in its notices on Friday, said the earlier orders allotting bungalows to the six former chief ministers were void.

Shukla said the notices were sent to six former CMs, including Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, ND Tiwari, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh to vacate the bungalows.

The notices were received by staff of four former CMs Rajnath Singh, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Kalyan Singh on Friday, people familiar with the matter said.

The staff of Mulayam Singh Yadav refused to receive the order, stating that he was not present in the city, they said, adding the estate department was awaiting his arrival.

The notice issued to former chief minister ND Tiwari will be dispatched to his Delhi address since only a security guard was available at the bungalow allotted to him in Lucknow, an officer said.

A senior state government officer said although the former CMs were told to vacate the bungalows, their security will be a concern for the state government.

Rajnath Singh, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Kalyan Singh have Z-plus security. The bungalows of the former CMs are located in the high security zone of the city, he said.

The Supreme Court on May 7, 2018 struck down an amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1981 to provide for allotment of government residence to former chief ministers at his/her request for lifetime.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had on August 1, 2016 ordered cancellation of allotment of government bungalows to former chief ministers observing that the allotment of houses made to former chief ministers, private bodies and individuals was bad in law. The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government had in 2016 amended the Act, which was challenged by a Lucknow-based non-profit organisation Lok Prahari.