Lucknow: Just ahead of the deadline set by the Uttar Pradesh estates department, BSP president Mayawati on Saturday said she was vacating the portion of the 13-A Mall Avenue bungalow she occupied.
She said the bungalow has already been declared a memorial to Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram, and its security and maintenance now will now be the state government's responsibility.
The BSP has claimed that bungalow was converted into the memorial through a UP cabinet decision in 2011.
"I am today vacating the portion of 13-A, Mall Avenue occupied by me till now, she told reporters.
From now on the entire bungalow in Lucknow will be 'Shri Kanshi Ram Ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal', the memorial named after Kanshi Ram," Mayawati added.
Her announcement comes just ahead of the deadline set by the UP estates department to six politicians who were allotted official accommodation as former chief ministers.
The UP government order followed a Supreme Court verdict on May 7 that former chief ministers were not allowed government bungalows.
While the estates department served notice to Mayawati to move out of the 13-A Mall Avenue bungalow, she vacated another house at 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, saying that was the one allotted to her as a former chief minister.
"All know that Kanshi Ram had been member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha from UP and after 1995, during his Lucknow visits, he used to stay at the 13-A, Mall Avenue bungalow allotted to me... So it was converted into a memorial named after him," she said.
"I used to stay in a small portion of this bungalow and I was allotted another bungalow at 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, which I have already vacated," she said.
But the estates department has already rejected Mayawati's claim that the 13-A, Mall Avenue is Kanshi Ram's memorial, while maintaining that the second bungalow that she vacated had been under her illegal possession.
Inviting the media to tour the entire premises, Mayawati said the exhibits there related to Kanshi Ram and "his one and only inheritor Mayawati, as per his will."
On speculation in the media that she was not going to vacate the bungalow, the BSP chief said she had been given 15 days time under the notice.
The BSP chief claimed she was aware of the pressure on the media to play up the issue to divert the people's attention from the drubbing suffered by the ruling BJP in the recent bypolls.
"The people have taught the BJP a lesson with a stunning defeat in Kairana, after Phulpur and Gorakhpur, even though they misused government machinery,? she said.
She said the people have shown the BJP that they will not get influenced by big promises and communal passions.
The countdown for the BJP government has begun in the country," she said.
"It is to brush aside the news of their defeat that the BJP used its full might to spread reports that Mayawati is not vacating the bungalow," she said.