Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh over reports of the damage to the bungalow vacated by him. Claiming that it was a “conspiracy” hatched by the party, Yadav said that the allegations against him show BJP’s frustration after a string of defeats in a series of bypolls, including Phulpur and Gorakhpur.
Yadav, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, said that he had added some constructions to the official bungalow located on 4 Vikramaditya Marg which he took with him when he left adding that everything else was intact.
“If any of the items in the inventory is missing, we will return it. But to say that we wasted taxpayers’ money is wrong,” a livid Yadav said at a press conference in Lucknow.
He was reacting to UP Governor Ram Naik’s instruction on Tuesday asking the state government to take action over the reported damage to the bungalow vacated by the former chief minister, calling it a serious matter involving the taxpayer’s money.
Video clips and photos had shown damage to a cycle track, on walls after air-conditioners seemed to have been removed and to the floor of what appeared to be a badminton court at the vacated bungalow.
After the video clips surfaced, estates department official Yogesh Kumar Shukla had said officials will check the inventory of fittings provided at the bungalow.
The department will serve a notice if there was any damage done “intentionally” or if there was anything missing, he had said.
“We will wait for the report. Anyone who takes possession of a property gets it after a thorough check of the inventory. What were the officers who check inventory doing?” asked the 44-year-old socialist leader.
He also pulled out taps at the press conference stating that he will return them if the government is able to provide the number of taps it claims were removed.
“The bungalow did not have any swimming pool as stated in the media. I did not remove any furnishing, charges against me are baseless,” he said, adding, “Wooden flooring along with many things in bungalow are intact. One damaged corner of house was photographed in way to make it look like house was left in a bad state.”
Yadav, the son of SP founder and former CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, also demanded that a temple he built in the bungalow be returned to him.
The bungalow was vacated by the Samajwadi Party leader in compliance with a Supreme Court order that former chief ministers were not entitled to any government accommodation in Lucknow.
Following the Supreme Court order, the UP estates department had issued notices to six former chief ministers – Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.
Barring Congress veteran ND Tiwari, who is ailing in Delhi, all of them have now vacated their official bungalows.
BSP supremo Mayawati has, however, still holds on to one of the two bungalows allotted to her. According to reports, the former CM has vacated a bungalow at 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg allotted to her on 23 December 2011 but kept the 13A Mall Avenue bungalow, for which the Uttar Pradesh State Property Department had issued a notice to her.