Ajit Singh's supporters protest in western UP over notice to vacate government bungalow

Ghaziabad, Sept 18: Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Ajit Singh's supporters staged protest in Ghaziabad and other parts of western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday after the government had cut water and electricity supply at his government residence, last week.

200 RLD, BKU workers, policemen injured in clashes

About 200 farmers and police men were injured in clashes when the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) protest turned violent at Murad Nagar town of Ghaziabad district.

Workers of both the organisations were protesting the snapping of water and power supply to the Tughlak Road residence of former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh to force him to leave the government bungalow.

The demonstrators blocked traffic on National Highway No.58 and tried to disrupt the water supply to the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant in Delhi.

Vijay Nagar police station Officer Arun Kumar Singh sustained critical injuries in the clash with demonstrators and has been rushed to the hospital while RLD leader Veer Pal Singh suffered bullet injury and has been admitted to the Suvidaya Hospital.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police K. Satyanarayan has started negotiating with the farmer leaders, Rakesh Tikait of BKU and Tejpal Singh, to secure end of the protest.

The RLD workers said the bungalow should be declared as the Chaudhary Charan Singh Memorial Centre like other government bungalows of Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Kanshi Ram and Jagjivan Ram.

'Bungalow should be given Memorial status'

The former Union minister Ajit Singh said he would vacate his government bungalow by next week but claimed people want the house to be converted into a memorial of his father, late Charan Singh.

Singh also slammed the BJP for lack of "courtesy" saying though he cannot stay in the residence after ceasing to be a minister or a lawmaker, he should have been given time to vacate after he informed the government of his plans to leave by September 24.

"After BJP lost power in 2004, several of its leaders continued to occupy bungalows meant for ministers. When I have already informed them that I would leave by September 24, what was the need to cut power and water supply? I had written to the government seeking four months time to vacate the house. But there has been no response," Singh told a new agency.

He said that when there can be memorials for leaders like Lal Bahadur Shastri and Kanshi Ram, there can be one for his father, former Prime Minister Charan Singh also.

"It is the wish of the people that 12 Tuglak Road be converted into a memorial. After all, Chaudhury sahib lived here for 36 years," he said. He claimed that a housing tribunal issued an ex-parte order asking him to vacate the house.

"Since it is a quasi-judicial body, I would have got a stay from the high court against an ex parte order. But since I have no plans to live here anymore, I did not approach a higher court... I told them that I am hunting for a house and would move out after 'pitra paksha' (period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors)," he said.

Responding to agitation against his eviction orders, the former Union minister said it has been organised by Kisan Union and other bodies. "The government should be sensitive to their demand. It should open a dialogue with them. They see it as Charan Singh's house," he said.

Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda termed the notice sent to Ajit Singh as 'discourteous' and 'unceremonious' act, in a letter to Union minister Venkaiah Naidu.

The Tughlak Road bungalow is where the late Chaudhary Charan Singh resided during his tenure as the prime minister and finance minister. Later, Ajit Singh, his son, stayed in the bungalow.

Cracking the whip, government had disconnected power and water supplies to the official accommodations in Delhi of former union ministers and ex-MPs including Ajit Singh, Jitendra Singh and Mohd Azharuddin who refused to vacate the premises.

Last week, an eviction team, along with police, had faced stiff resistance at former Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh's Tughlaq Road residence in Lutyens' zone, when they had gone to take possession of the house.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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