LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government today approved crucial changes in a legislation that is widely seen as a shield for former chief ministers, illegally occupying government bungalows. The Supreme Court had directed six former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh to vacate their bungalows, or face eviction.
According to a new law which the Uttar Pradesh government is considering former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh may be allowed to occupy state accommodation for life. The proposed legislation is expected to come up in the assembly session which starts from August 22.
On August 1, the Supreme Court had ordered six former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh to vacate their official bungalows in Lucknow within two months and pay the rent at market rate for the period falling under unauthorized occupation.
The affected ex-chief ministers cut across party lines and include the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati and Congress leaders ND Tiwari and Ram Naresh Yadav.
In a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the state cabinet approved changes to the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1981 allowing former chief ministers to occupy official bungalows for life. Under the original version of the 1981 Act, any former chief minister was supposed to vacate his or her official residence within 15 days of demitting office.
At present only former presidents and prime ministers are allowed to retain their official accommodation after demitting office. No other constitutional functionaries such as Governors, Chief Justices, or Union Ministers are allowed to enjoy government accommodation post-retirement.