The Great Memorial Circus
The Modi Government is here with yet another firm decision of not allowing the residences of late politicians in Delhi to be turned into memorials. It seems as dreadful news for freeloading dynastic politics. This historic decision will surely save the government money as the maintainence of that particular memorial or museum will be done by the named Trust. It’s a decision that will surely cheer all Indians, especially those living in Delhi. Well, all, except for a few freeloading politicians. Converting the residences of politicians into memorials and occupying huge spaces has dampened the image of politicians for a long time.
Dr Ravindra AgrawalSugarcane farmers of Western UP are hugely agitated for not being paid their dues by the sugar mills. Not only this, the mills have not yet started crushing for this session as, till date, the state government failed to fix minimum support price of sugarcane for the current crushing session under the pressure of sugar mill lobby. Delay in crushing will result delay in wheat sowing and many other troubles.In this hour of trouble, the Western UP’s ‘farmer leader’ and ‘Chhote Chaudhary’ Ajit Singh, former union Aviation Minister in UPA-2 and the son of ‘great farmer leader’ Ch Charan Singh, is busy in agitation for another issue in the name of Kisan Swabhiman (farmers’ pride). He wants that his 12 Tughlaq Road government residence be converted into a Memorial after his father Ch Charan Singh. He feels converting his official residence as a ‘memorial’ is a bigger issue than the supporting the voice of the agitating farmers.The 12 Tughalaq Road bungalow was allotted to him as a MP. He was not vacating it even after losing election from Baghpat. Despite being served many eviction notices, he paid no attention to it. He even resisted the eviction team, along with police, when they went to take possession of the said bungalow. Instead of abiding by law, Singh gave it a political colour. He provoked his supporters saying Modi government is opposed to converting the residence, once inhabited by Ch Charan Singh, into a memorial.The government has out rightly rejected Ajit’s demands. In this regard, the Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu wrote a letter to the then Haryana CM Bhupander Singh Hooda in response to his letter in favour of Ch Ajit Singh. Regarding the conversion of government bungalow into memorials Shri Naidu said ‘the Union Cabinet in 2000 banned such conversions and this has been issued as a policy guideline. In addition to this, the Supreme Court in its judgment passed in 2013 has suggested not to allow any general pool residential accommodation to be converted into memorials. With regard to Hooda’s suggestion of converting the said Bungalow as Memorial, Naidu replied Hooda that ‘you could have suggested the same during the period of UPA from 2004 to 2014.’Now the question is why the issue of Charan Singh memorial is being raised at a time when Ajit Singh was not allowed to occupy the bungalow illegally? Why was he silent for all these years when he was himself a powerful cabinet minister in UPA-2?Ajit Singh has been befooling the people for so many years in name of his father. And in this period he literally ruined this region. He does not even have strength to organise a rally in Baghpat. Recently he did it in Meerut so that the people coming from other areas are exposed to the backwardness of the area. The condition of this Highway is so worst that anybody using it curses thousands of time and it is not in use for about one decade.The opposition leaders who supported Ajit on the memorial issue are only using him as a tool against Modi Government, as they did not have any issue against it. Hooda picked up the issue quickly but failed to misguide the voters of Haryana again. Ajit Singh now wants to regain his lost ground by raising such emotional issues.But he forgets that the people rejected him because he lost contact with them, while his father maintained live relations with the people whether he was in Lucknow or Delhi.(The writer is a senior journalist)