Former MLA's wife found begging

If someone wants a role model for a politician with the noble intent of serving the people, they would find a hero in Surajlal Gupta. But the plight of Gupta’s wife provides an example of how society neglects such honest leaders.

A two-time MLA from the Utraula assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh, Gupta was a close associate of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and represented Jan Sangh in the state.

After his death in 2007, his wife Prema Devi has been living in the streets as a beggar. A few days ago, people have seen her begging outside the District Women’s Hospital in Gonda, about 200 km from the state capital Lucknow.

According to police sources, Prema Devi was forced to leave her ancestral property by her children after Gupta's death. The 80-year-old had little choice but to live on handouts.
Life, she told the local reporters who spotted her, took a turn for the drastic after her husband’s death.

“My son does not want to keep any relations with me... He forced me to leave the house,” Prema Devi said.

“He (son) changed completely after his father’s death in 2007 and told me that I should make my own livelihood arrangements. A few days back, he made me leave the house when I spoke out against the sale of the ancestral house.”

Learning about her condition, the UP authorities have promised that Prema Devi will be given financial assistance in accordance with the state government rules.

“She will be provided with a government house, pension and other assistance,” Chief Development Officer of Gonda, Ram Das, said, expressing surprise over the plight of the elderly woman. He added that they would get in touch with the office of the Chief Minister for assistance. Prema Devi does not like to go back to her sons. “They don't like me,” she said.

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