In a bid to camouflage the 'wrongs' committed by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav [ Images ] during his last stint as head of the government, Uttar Pradesh [ Images ] chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has decidedly gone overboard by reversing the government's stand on an all important issue before the Supreme Court.
Even as the apex court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation questioning out of turn allotment of some 40 plots in a prime part of Lucknow's [ Images ] posh Gomati Nagar during the last Mulayam regime, the new government was now trying to justify those allotments.
Interestingly, the Akhilesh government has now moved an affidavit before the Supreme Court to reverse the stand taken by the Mayawati [ Images ] government on the issue. And it is more than blatant that the action was aimed at shielding allottees who were either close relatives of Mulayam or enjoyed his personal patronage.
The revised affidavit, which seeks to emphasise that no rules were violated in allotment of the plots, would also benefit Mulayam's one time closest confidante Amar Singh [ Images ], who has since been out of favour and thrown out of the party.
He too was one of the beneficiaries of the largesse doled out by Lucknow Development Authority between 2003-2007, when Mulayam ruled Uttar Pradesh. Singh, who was allotted a 6000 sqft plot in the most expensive pocket of Gomati Nagar, built a huge bungalow and named it 'Aishwarya'.
Significant among the other beneficiaries was Anita Singh, the blue-eyed bureaucrat, who was then special secretary to chief minister Mulayam and was currently the most powerful secretary in the CM's secretariat.
Akhilesh's father-in-law Col R C S Rawat was also one of the beneficiaries, which also included Shiv Singh Yadav, son-in-law of Mulayam's sister.
Several bureaucrats close to Mulayam got allotments made in the name of their spouses or other kin. These included then LDA vice chairman B B Singh, Lucknow commissioner R K Mittal, then Housing secretary J S Misra, father of currently protocol minister Abhishek Misra and then Deputy Inspector General of police Navneet Sikera, among others.
Each of the allotments were made in gross violation of then prevailing rules. Not only were the plots allegedly carved out after scraping a green belt, but these were also transfers from downmarket schemes in other remote parts of Gomati Nagar.
An inquiry instituted by the Mayawati government into the allotments had severely indicted the concerned officials for setting aside all norms and rules to favour select beneficiaries.