New Delhi: The Modi government has managed to get Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati to vacate the Type VIII bungalow in Lutyens’ Delhi that she had been occupying despite not being a Member of Parliament (MP) anymore.
The 3 Thyagaraj Marg bungalow was allotted by the then UPA dispensation to the BSP chief after she became a Rajya Sabha MP in April 2012. She resigned from the Rajya Sabha in July 2017, nine months before her term was to end. However, she did not vacate the sprawling abode.
Type VIII accommodations are the largest and highest-level government bungalows, and are usually allotted to serving ministers and Supreme Court judges. Over the last few months, the government has been rigorous about evicting ‘non-entitled’ leaders from official bungalows, including BJP MPs who are no longer ministers.
Sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs told ThePrint that the BSP chief was made to vacate the bungalow last week and was given alternative accommodation, albeit smaller in size, at Lodhi Estate, in her capacity as president of a national party.
“She vacated the Type VIII Thyagaraj Marg bungalow and has been allotted 29 Lodhi Estate, a Type VI bungalow. Senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra lives in the bungalow,” a government source said. Mishra’s Rajya Sabha term ended in April this year.
ThePrint called Mishra over the phone for his comment, but did not receive a response. When asked about the development, BSP spokesman Sudhindra Bhadoria said he was not aware of it.
In 2013, the then UPA government had allotted three adjoining government bungalows on Delhi’s Gurudwara Rakabganj Road to Mayawati’s Bahujan Prerna Trust. The bungalows were amalgamated and converted into a memorial for BSP founder Kanshi Ram.
Also read: Mayawati & BSP’s political ‘evaporation’ certain. Blame it on shift to ‘Sarvajan Samaj’ in 2007
BJP MPs cannot overstay welcome either
The Modi government is going all out to to ensure that official bungalows are not occupied by those not entitled to stay there. Even former ministers of the NDA government have not been spared.
Since March, the Directorate of Estates — the department under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs responsible for allotting government houses — has either forcibly evicted former ministers or made them vacate bungalows that they were occupying despite not being in a ministerial post anymore.
According to the guidelines of Directorate of Estates, a former minister has to vacate the official bungalow allotted to him or her a month after leaving office.
The latest BJP MP who was made to vacate a Type VIII bungalow is Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. He resided in a 12 Sunehri Bagh Road bungalow, which was allotted to him when he became Minister of State (independent charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Other former ministers who have had to vacate their grand government bungalows and shift to smaller accommodation meant for MPs include former Minister of State P.C. Sarangi, as well as junior ministers Ram Shankar Katheria and Rattan Lal Kataria, who served in the education and jal shakti ministries, respectively.
Some leaders have put up a resistance. Former Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who was dropped from the Union Cabinet in July 2021, had reportedly refused to vacate the 27 Safdarjung Road bungalow allotted to him during his tenure. He finally moved out in April this year, but not before he was issued more than half-a-dozen showcause notices to vacate the house.
The Directorate of Estates also got a 12 Janpath bungalow occupied by the late former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s family, including his son, parliamentarian and Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan, vacated on 30 March.
Paswan’s family had earlier refused to budge from the premises despite being served several eviction notices. They also approached the Delhi High Court against the eviction proceedings, which dismissed their plea.
(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)
Also read: Congress to vacate Lutyens’ Delhi bungalow housing Sewa Dal office soon