Naidu hits back at Ajit, Cong; asks why no memorial till now

Last Updated 19 September 2014, 12:32 IST

Hardening his stand on the issue of eviction of Ajit Singh, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said government was bound by rules and questioned why the RLD leader or Congress did not convert the house into memorial for Charan Singh when they were in power.

The Urban Development Minister insisted that there was no political vendetta involved in the decision to evict Ajit Singh from government residence. With Ajit Singh's supporters clashing with police in Gaziabad yesterday when they were stopped from cutting water supply to Delhi, Naidu made it clear that such "threats" were unacceptable and will find little support among people.

"No question of discourteous behaviour at all. I do not believe and my government does not believe in political vendetta. There is no politics involved in eviction I am not against personally anybody.

"I am governed by rules and regulations and procedures which were well established and laid before we assumed power," the minister said on the controversy over move to evict RLD leader Ajit Singh, who wants it to be converted into a memorial for his father, a demand rejected by the government.

"As far as I am concerned, there is no political vendetta involved here. Charan Singh was a respected leader. I used to admire him a lot because he was a farmers' leader," Naidu said here and asked why Ajit Singh did not take any step to convert the house into a memorial when he was a Union Minister.

Taking a pot shot at RLD, Naidu said, "If people are so concerned about having a memorial in the name of Charan Singh then who prevented them in the last 37 years after his demise. Making charge against the government is unfair and I hope that people understand the reality.

"Government has decided 14 years ago that no official bungalow will be converted into memorials. We are in government for three months only. Ajit Singh was an important Minister at the Centre in the previous government."

With Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda too supporting Ajit Singh's demand, the Minister hit back saying, "those Congressmen who are advising me on memorials, they were in the government for 50 years. In the last 10 years when they were in the government they did not do anything on it.

"Charan Singh has died 37 years ago. In these 37 years nothing was done and now it is not fair to accuse us."

He said politically motivated criticism is not right. "It is not proper to use Charan Singh's name for this and had he been alive, he would not have also approved of it."

RLD supporters have threatened to disconnect water connection to Delhi after the NDMC snapped  water and power supply to the former Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh's 12 Tughlaq Road residence which he has refused to vacate though he is no longer eligible to occupy it.

Responding to the agitation by RLD supporters, Naidu said, "Because we did not allow unauthorised stay in the government bungalows, I do not think people will appreciate it. If they are threatening that they will stop the water to Delhi citizens. People will not appreciate it."

The Ministry has asked the NDMC to disconnect water and power connection to 30 houses occupied by former Ministers and ex-MPs after serving eviction notices.

(Published 19 September 2014, 12:32 IST)

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