Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav Monday approached the Supreme Court, seeking “sufficient” time to vacate bungalows allotted to them during their tenure as chief minister.
Akhilesh requested the court to “grant” him “sufficient time to make arrangements for suitable alternative accommodation, taking into consideration the security of the petitioner and his family members”, while Mulayam sought relief citing the “security of the petitioner, age and ill-health”.
On May 7, the top court, acting on a petition by Lucknow-based NGO Lok Praharai, struck down a provision in the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, which allows former chief ministers to retain their official accommodation even after their term ends. A two-judge bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi said chief ministers are “at par with the common citizen” once they demit office, and allowing them to retain bungalows at public expense would amount to creating “a separate class of citizens”.
Mulayam and Akhilesh had earlier moved the state estate department, seeking two years’ time to vacate the bungalows.
After the May 7 order, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh — who were earlier chief ministers and had been allotted bungalows — conveyed to the estate department their willingness to vacate these.
Mulayam, Akhilesh, Rajnath and Kalyan Singh are among the six former chief ministers who were asked by the estate department to vacate the bungalows in pursuance of the apex court’s order. The other two are N D Tiwari and BSP chief Mayawati.