Bungalow damage row: Akhilesh terms it as BJP conspiracy
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav today alleged a BJP "conspiracy" to malign him over the reported damage to the official bungalow vacated by him, prompting the state government and the ruling party to hit back.
Stung by a letter written yesterday by the state governor to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the damage seen at the house, Yadav said Ram Naik had the RSS, and not the Constitution, in his soul.
"It's a conspiracy of the BJP after its humiliating defeat in the bye-elections in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur. It is rattled after these repeated defeats,” he told reporters at a hurriedly called press conference here.
The state government reacted barely an hour later, hurling accusation at him.
Yadav had vacated the Lucknow house in compliance with a Supreme Court order that barred allocation of official accommodation to former UP chief ministers.
After he handed over the keys to the estates department, video clips and photographs emerged showing apparent damage at some places in the sprawling bungalow.
Yadav denied suggestions that any fittings installed by the authorities at the 4, Vikramaditya Marg bungalow had been removed.
“I want to ask them to check the inventory of the house and tell me what I have taken away. I am waiting for the report," Yadav fumed.
He said he wanted to ask the state government why Abhishek Kaushik, Officer on Special Duty to the CM, and IAS officer Mrityunjay Narain went to the vacated house before it was shown to the media.
Implying that things could be planted at the house, he said,“I want to tell them (BJP leaders) that the same officers will find something when you leave your house. They might come up with a 'chillum' (pipe).”
"If I am told about the missing things, I will return the items immediately,” he said.
“Someone is saying Rs 42 crore was spent on the bungalow,” he added. “Some say there was a swimming pool, which I filled up before leaving the premises. I am ready to go there again. Show me the pool," he said.
Barely an hour later, state government spokesperson and minister Siddharth Nath Singh said, "Akhilesh should tell the Income Tax department from where he got the money to invest in the bungalow.”
“He should also tell what was kept behind the wall which he has broken," he added.
"We condemn the language used by him at his press conference, which depicted his frustration,” Singh said.
On Governor Ram Naik's intervention, the minister said, "Whatever letter the governor has written will be looked into. No one should have an objection to it."
BJP spokesman Chandramohan said, "The way in which Akhilesh damaged his house shows his negative approach. He ran the previous government with the same negativity.”
“He only claims himself to be a `samajwadi', which he is not. He is projecting himself as an immature leader, as once said by BSP supremo Mayawati."
While attacking the governor, Yadav said, "He is a good person but he is not following the Constitution. He does not have the Constitution in his soul, but the RSS is there," he said.
Yadav added he has "good relations" with the governor.
The former CM said he had taken away his gym equipment which he planned to install at his new house.
“The BJP is trying to humiliate me with the help of media,” he said, suggesting that the pictures were taken from angles that highlighted the “damage”
In a letter to the chief minister, the governor had said the state government needed to take “proper action as per rules” following reports of the damage at the state-owned property.
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.
Following a 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 N D Tiwari, who is ailing, all of them have now handed over their official bungalows.
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