Govt rejects demand to convert Ajit's residence into memorial

Government Thursday rejected the demand to convert the bungalow occupied by former union minister Ajit Singh as a memorial to his father, former Prime Minister Charan Singh.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 20:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Government Thursday rejected the demand to convert the bungalow occupied by former union minister Ajit Singh as a memorial to his father, former Prime Minister Charan Singh.

The bungalow, 12 Tughlaq Road, cannot be converted into a memorial as the Union Cabinet in 2000 banned conversion of government bungalows into memorials in the name of departed leaders, said a senior Urban Development Ministry official.

"Later Supreme Court in a judgement in the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation related case in July 2013, has suggested to the government not to allow conversion of any bungalows into memorials," the official said.

RLD leader Singh, who lost the recently held election, was served the eviction notice and electricity supply to the sprawling bungalow was disconnected by the authorities last week.

While his supporters have opposed his eviction, others, including Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda have suggested that the bungalow should be converted into Charan Singh memorial complex in the memory of the Jat leader.

In a communication to Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu yesterday, Hooda has termed the eviction order as "ex parte".

Strongly refuting Hooda's allegation, Naidu in a letter to Haryana's CM said, "I have been taken by surprise by the choice of your words regarding the action taken in respect of vacation of Bungalow No, 12, Tughlak Road. It appears that you have been totally misled in the matter."

Naidu has stated that all the procedures were followed in serving eviction notices on the former UPA Ministers who refused to vacate government bungalows.

As far as Ajit Singh is concerned, he was was initially allowed one month time to vacate and later the time was extended and finally it was only after 80 days of unauthorised staying, supply of power and water was cut off by the NDMC.

"It is clear that Singh has been given ample opportunities and time to vacate the said bungalow. I, therefore, beg to differ with you that this was neither an unceremonious nor a discourteous act as due procedure and time limits have been observed," Naidu has said in his letter.

Naidu said the Union Minister who has been allotted the bungalow has been staying in a guest house causing much hardship to him and his family members besides adversely impacting his official work.