As electioneering in Uttar Pradesh touches a crescendo and barbs fly thicker and faster, one question that is hounding the BJP and its supporters is that whether Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be able to break the ‘Kalidas’ jinx.
While the Noida jinx has been a topic of discussion in political circles for decades, the Kalidas jinx has been very quietly whispered in the corridors of power in Lucknow.
The UP chief minister’s official bungalow is located on Kalidas Marg – 5, Kalidas Marg, to be precise-and a look at history shows that no chief minister since 1950 has continued living here for a second consecutive term.
Though several chief ministers have enjoyed multiple terms in office, none has had the privilege of spilling into the second term while living in this bungalow.
Mashoor Ahmad, 91, who had worked as a maintenance staff during the regime of Kamlapati Tripathi in early seventies, recalls, “Even at that time, people used to murmur about the bungalow having a curse. Tripathi ji used to get ‘puja’ done at regular intervals but it is not known whether they were performed to remove the curse. It is a fact that while parties like the Congress returned to power after elections, the same chief minister did not make a comeback. Some chief ministers like N. D. Tiwari, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and Kalyan Singh occupied this bungalow several times but never in succession.”
A retired IAS officer, on the other hand, said that the Kalidas curse was that the occupant would make some mistake during his tenure which would show him the exit door.
“According to a popular fable, Kalidas was once sitting on a branch of a tree on the wrong end and was sawing it. When he finally sawed through the branch, he came down with it. Similarly, chief ministers living here often tend to make mistakes that lead to their exit,” he said.
The retired officer further said that the bureaucrats had informed some chief ministers, including N D Tiwari, but they took it lightly.
“I am sure if someone had told Yogi Adityanath about this, he would have changed the name of the street,” he added.
The 5, Kalidas Marg bungalow is one of the best maintained and largest government bungalows in Lucknow.
Having multiple bedrooms, the bungalow has been renovated several times. Each chief minister has made additions and changed to the bungalow to suit his or her needs.
Mayawati, as chief minister renovated the Janata Darshan Hall and made many other changes and additions to the bungalow.