- UP government allotted Mayawati's bungalow to Samajwadi Party dissident
- UP minister OP Rajbhar says it shows Shivpal Yadav working for BJP
- Says haven't been given bungalow, have been asking since March 2017
Uttar Pradesh government's allotment of a colossal bungalow and Z-Plus security cover to Shivpal Yadav has sent out the message that the younger brother of Mulayam Singh has started working for the ruling BJP, Om Prakash Rajbhar, a senior minister in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's cabinet, has said.
In a surprise move, the state government allotted the 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg bungalow -- recently vacated by Mayawati after the Supreme Court's directive -- to the Samajwadi Secular Morcha leader Shivpal Yadav on Friday.
"The allotment clearly gives the message that he is being given protection by BJP and has started working for the BJP," news agency ANI quoted Mr Rajbhar as saying.
The minister admitted that he had been asking the government for a bungalow since March 2017. "Don't know why they were afraid of granting me one," he had said on Saturday.
The minister for Backward Classes Welfare and four lawmakers of his Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party support the BJP government in the state. But recently, he has been targeting the BJP over a host of issues contending that the BJP was not giving them "the due importance."
"After the elections, they will come to know who has more strength, Shivpal or Om Prakash Rajbhar and who should be given government bungalow for office," Mr Rajbhar said.
Shivpal Yadav, the estranged uncle of the former chief minister, has been sidelined within the party since the feud between Akhilesh Yadav and his father ahead of last year's assembly elections.
Mr Yadav who quit his family-run Samajwadi Party recently and is seen to be gravitating towards the ruling BJP. Lately, there has been a buzz that he met with BJP leaders.
BJP sources said Mr Yadav -- known for his organizational skills -- has been on the party's radar as a way to counter the combined electoral power of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. Since the two leaders joined forces, the BJP hasn't won a single by-election in the state where it won 73 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.