Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has said that she can't vacate the government bungalow allotted to her since it was converted into a memorial dedicated to party's late founder and her political mentor Kanshi Ram.
The Dalit leader said this while replying to an eviction notice sent to her by the Uttar Pradesh Government.
In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati said that the sprawling bungalow at 13A, Mall Avenue, which was allotted to her, was converted into a Kanshi Ram Memorial in 2011.
BSP chief stated in the letter that on January 13, 2011, '13A, Mall Avenue' was declared as a memorial, owned by BSP founder Kanshi Ram and that she only occupied two rooms in the bungalow.
Mayawati added that in some parts of the Mall Avenue residence, she was allowed to stay for the purpose that the maintenance and security of the house could be done under her care.
She, however, stated that on December 23, 2011, the Estate Department had allotted 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg as her house, which she said would vacate and hand it over to the department soon.
Mayawati further claimed that private workers who used to maintain the memorial site of Kanshi Ram used to live in her `13A, Mall Avenue` bungalow."
''But in the 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg house, there is not enough space for the workers to stay," she said. She, therefore, requested Adityanath for some time to arrange their stay.
Mayawati also requested that the safety and upkeep of Kanshi Ram Memorial should be done by the State Treasury Directorate and, if the department faces any hassle, then it should be handed over back to the BSP.
At present, Mayawati is residing at 13, Mall Avenue, which is located close to her party office at 12, Mall Avenue in Lucknow.
A BSP delegation also met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday claiming that the sprawling bungalow party chief Mayawati has been asked to vacate was converted into a Kanshi Ram memorial in 2011.
In the wake of the Supreme Court order directing all former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers to vacate their bungalows, Mayawati is believed to have converted her official residence into a memorial for the late party supremo Kanshi Ram on May 21.
After the top court's order, renovations have also started in full swing in Mayawati's personal residence at 9, Mall Avenue, where she is expected to move to soon.
Mayawati's new residence was used to be the residence of the former speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Kesharinath Tripathi.
Following the Supreme Court order, Adityanath issued notices to six former state chief ministers to vacate their official bungalows, including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The notices were sent by the Estate Department asking the former chief ministers to vacate the bungalows in 15 days. Notices were also issued to Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav`s son Akhilesh Yadav and Kalyan Singh. In May 2016, the Supreme Court quashed the law passed by the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav-led state government, granting permanent residential accommodation to former chief ministers of the state.
The apex court, in its order, said former chief ministers of the state were not entitled to government bungalows. While striking down the law, the Supreme Court said Section 4(3) of Uttar Pradesh ministers (salaries, allowances, and miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2016 was unconstitutional, which was subsequently challenged by the NGO, Lok Prahari, in the top court.
(With ANI inputs)