Samajwadi Party trust evicted
The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday evicted the Mulayam Singh Yadav-headed Ram Manohar Lohia Trust, a political wing of the Samajwadi Party, from an official bungalow in Lucknow on the basis of a Supreme Court order.
A huge force guarded the area to prevent any resistance from Samajwadi workers as the state property department took documents and other belongings of the party out of the government building and dumped them on the roadside.
In June this year, the Supreme Court had ruled that private trusts cannot function from government buildings and asked the state government to take possession of the bungalow.
Founded by Mulayam two decades ago, the trust carries out political tasks such as poll management for the Samajwadi Party. It used to operate from the Samajwadi office before then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, in January 2017, allotted it a government bungalow in the upscale Vikramaditya Marg.
Since then, the government was paying for the office’s running costs, such as its electricity and water bills. Mulayam is the trust’s president and his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav its general secretary.
A state government rule at the time allowed official bungalows to be allotted to private trusts for five years but Akhilesh had approved a 10-year allotment. This prompted S.N. Shukla, a retired IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, to challenge the allotment in the Supreme Court.
While saying private trusts cannot function from government buildings, the apex court declared the five-year-allotment rule illegal.
“The trust had sought time from the government to look for a new office. We then served it with a notice to pay Rs 70,000 a month as rent at the market rate till they vacated it,” a source in the state property department said. “But the trust didn’t respond.”