File photo: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday warned that action will be taken against Akhilesh Yadav as he had done “some damage” while vacating the bungalow allotted to him in Lucknow as chief minister.
Government spokesperson and senior Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh referred to the manner in which Yadav indulged in “todphod” (damage) before vacating the 4, Vikramaditya Marg bungalow in June in compliance with a Supreme Court order.
"One thing is clear, that he undertook some construction for which he did not take permission from the estate's department. A law is there for this (unauthorised construction) and the law will take its course,” Singh told reporters.
After Yadav had vacated the bungalow, 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.
Yadav had then said it was an attempt by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to defame him.
Singh’s remarks came against the backdrop of an investigation report submitted to the state estates officer about the damage to the bungalow.
In June, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik instructed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to order a probe against the Samajwadi Party chief for leaving the government property damaged.
When Yadav became UP chief minister in 2012, he was allotted the bungalow, which he retained after his party lost the assembly election last year.
The spokesperson said Yadav should respond to the matter as he had levelled allegations against the state government and had started “playing politics” on the issue.
He said rather than feeling sorry for doing something wrong, he was taking pride in it, and used another Hindi idiom “ek toh chori, upar se seena zori” to drive home his point.
Following the visuals of the damage inside the bungalow, a high-level inquiry was ordered. The Public Works Department chief engineer has submitted a 266-page inquiry report to the state estates officer.
The details of the report were not immediately available. The estates officer could not be contacted immediately for comments.
The report, according to sources, is said to have estimated the damage to the government bungalow running into lakhs of rupees.
Reacting to the development, SP leader and MLC Rajpal Kashyap said “The government has stooped to a new low. They are coming out with reports just to malign the image of the former CM. The BJP government is rattled by the coming SP-BSP and the loss in Lok Sabha bypolls. Hence, they are desperate to hamper Yadav’s image.”
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi had quashed the law, which entitled former chief ministers to retain government bungalows for a lifetime, ruling that granting further privilege violates Right to Equality under Article 14.