Thursday, April 6, 2017

Haunted house gets its new occupant

By Dilip Awasthi

Lucknow: Next doors to UP chief minister's official residence - 5 Kalidas Marg, referred to as 5 KD in official parlance is another sprawling ministerial bungalow. This house is cursed. At least that is widely believed and as a result, most ministers refuse to occupy this bungalow.  Thoe who do, pay the price.

On Ram Navami on April 5, a special puja was organised in 6 Kalidas Marg bungalow after which Yogi cabinet's animal husbandry minister SP Singh Baghel entered this haunted house to live here. If employees of this house are to be believed, Baghel is the eighth occupant of this house. According to the Estate Department officials, Baghel himself offered to occupy this house, knowing fully well about its notorious reputation.

A gardener who works here maintaining the impressive lawns of this house says that it is widely believed that whosoever occupies this house faces either political oblivion, career downslide or critical illness resulting in death. This house was occupied amongst others by Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who is in the wilderness these days. Mayawati's right-hand minister at one time, Babu Singh Kushwaha lived in this house. He was later jailed in the NRHM scam and was also thrown out from BSP.

Akhilesh Yadav's minister Rajendra Chowdhry refused to move into this house but Javed Abdi did and fell from grace of the Samajwadi Party leaders. Another minister Waqar Ahmed Shah lived here but soon developed NS Qa moved to the hospital; in a state of comma. Some staff members claim that something about this house is not good. Ït is eerie if you stay here in the night", says one of them.

Situated in the posh VIP area and with the neighbourhood as influential as the state's CM, this house has remained vacant in most regimes. One of the ageing peons posted in this house feels it is haunted. "It could be a former minister who does not want to leave this house even after leaving this world", he says with a chuckle. But Yogi's minister Baghel wants to prove all this wrong.

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