Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh yadav and the ruling BJP on Wednesday levelled allegations against each other over reports of damage to the bungalow vacated by the SP president.
While Akhilesh smelled a BJP "conspiracy" to malign him, the ruling party slammed the former CM for "using a language that showed his frustration".
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Stung by a letter written by Governor Ram Naik to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the damage at the bungalow on 4, Vikramaditya Marg, the SP chief convened a press conference here at a short notice to ventilate his ire at the ruling party and did not spare the governor in his outburst.
Akhilesh hit out at the governor over the issue, saying he has the "soul of RSS" and sought to know as to why two state officials had entered the house before it was shown to the media.
"I want to ask from the government as to why CM's OSD Abhishek (Kaushik) and IAS Mrityunjay Narain went to my house before it was shown to the media. I want to ask them to check the inventory of the house and tell me what I have taken. I am waiting for the report," a fuming Akhilesh said.
"It's a conspiracy of the BJP after its humiliating defeatin by-elections in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur. It is rattled after these repeated defeats. I want to tell them (BJP) that the same officers will find out something when you (BJP) leave your house. They might come out with a 'chilam' (a small pipe that holds tobacco and other substances being smoked)," he said.
"If I am told about missing things, I will return the items immediately. Someone is saying Rs 42 crore was spent on the bungalow...Some say there was a swimming pool, which I filled before leaving the premises. I am ready to go there again. Show me where is the pool," he said.
In less than an hour of his press conference, state government spokesperson and senior cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said, "Akhilesh should tell Income Tax department, from where he got the money to invest in the bungalow. He should also tell as to what was kept behind the wall, which he has broken."
"We condemn the language used by him in his press conference, which depicted his frustration. You (media) have seen his body language...The name of IAS officer he mentioned did not go there," Singh said. About the governor's intervention in the matter, he said, "Whatever letter the governor has written, will be looked into. No one should have 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."
Attacking the governor, Akhilesh said, "He is a good person, but he is not following the Constitution. He does not have the Constitution in his soul but there is the RSS," he said, adding that he has "good relations" with the governor.
Akhilesh said "The BJP is saying that he had taken away taps. I want to give them taps through the media."
"I had my gym and a steel structure there. In my new house I will use it. The BJP is trying to humiliate me with the help of media. I also know photography and the angle used to show what is to be emphasised," he said.
In a letter to the chief minister, the governor said reports about the damage at 4, Vikramaditya Marg, were doing the rounds in the media and among the common people. He said this was a "serious matter".
"The residence allocated to the former chief ministers belong to the Estates department and their maintenance is done through the taxpayers' money," he wrote.
"The state government needs to take proper action as per rules into the damages caused to the state's property," Naik had said.
The bungalow was vacated by the Samajwadi Party leader in compliance with a Supreme Court order that former chief ministers were not entitled to any government accommodation in Lucknow.
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.
After the video clips surfaced, estates department official Yogesh Kumar Shukla had said officials will check the inventory of fittings provided at the bungalow.
The Samajwadi Party had termed the video clips as anattempt to tarnish Yadav's image, saying his popularity was continuously growing after the defeat of the BJP in bypolls. As the two parties sparred, the BJP had said the damage at the bungalow reflected Yadav's "frustration".
Following the 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 ND Tiwari, who is ailing, all of them have now handed over their official bungalows.
Asked at to why BSP supremo Mayawati was silent onalliance while he has offered to give more seats to her,Akhilesh said, "How do you know that? This is an era of mobile and Internet...I will not tell you anything...After Monsoon, the season of politics will come...
Watch Video: Akhilesh, BJP spar over missing tiles, taps