Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Tuesday asked the state government to initiate proceedings against former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav over the reported damage to a state bungalow allocated to him, PTI reported. Naik said the matter was serious as it involved taxpayers’ money.
Yadav, however, has reiterated his denial of the allegations. “The wooden flooring along with many things in bungalow are intact,” Yadav said. “One damaged corner of house was photographed in way to make it look like house was left in a bad state. People may be blind in love, but I have seen that they can be blind in jealousy and hatred too.”
He said the allegation was a “conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party after its humiliating defeat in bye-elections in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur”. “It [BJP] is rattled after these repeated defeats,” Yadav said. “I want to tell them that the same officers will find out something when you leave your house.”
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party have been trading accusations over the condition of the bungalow in Lucknow which Yadav vacated a month after the Supreme Court ruled on May 7 that chief ministers cannot retain their government accommodation once they leave office.
On Tuesday, Naik wrote to Chief Minister Adityanath and contacted the state’s estates department. The estates department told the government that they were inspecting the bungalow to ascertain if any damage was done after crosschecking it with the inventory on repair work done at the property.
“The residences allocated to the former chief ministers belong to the Estates department and their maintenance is done through the taxpayers’ money,” Naik wrote. “The state government needs to take proper action as per the rules into the damages caused to the state’s property.”
BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi had said: “The damage done to the bungalow before it was vacated by [Akhilesh] Yadav shows his frustration.”
The Samajwadi Party has accused the BJP of trying to ruin Yadav’s reputation with the allegations. Photographs of the bungalow, taken soon after Yadav and his family vacated it, showed floors and wall tiles damaged, NDTV reported. The party also questioned why videos on bungalows vacated by other former chief ministers were not released.
Estate department’s notices
The state estate department had served notices to six former chief ministers – Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav – asking them to vacate their official bungalows by June 3 in compliance with the Supreme Court order.
Senior Congress leader ND Tiwari, who is ailing in Delhi, is yet to hand over his keys to the bungalow allotted to him.