Now garbage dumped at Satpal’s ashram, he wants mayor sacked | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Now garbage dumped at Satpal’s ashram, he wants mayor sacked

In a fresh twist to the ongoing tussle between cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj and Madan Kaushik, the former Saturday alleged that the Haridwar mayor got the boundary wall of his ashram demolished and the garbage dumped outside its gate

dehradun Updated: Aug 12, 2017 19:41 IST
Deep Joshi
Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj.
Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj.(HT File)

In a fresh twist to the ongoing tussle between cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj and Madan Kaushik, the former Saturday alleged that the Haridwar mayor got the boundary wall of his ashram demolished and the garbage dumped outside its gate. He also demanded that “those responsible” are removed from their positions.

This comes two days after the supporters of the two BJP ministers clashed in Haridwar in which mayor Manoj Garg sustained injuries.

“On one side, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is appealing people to clean up their surroundings under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. On the other hand, the Mayor is getting the garbage dumped outside the dwelling places of sants,” Maharaj alleged.

The “dwelling place of sants” in question is Maharaj’s ashram in Prem Nagar area of Haridwar.

“I have, therefore, demanded that the chief minister order an inquiry into the incident so that those responsible for it are removed from their positions,” Maharaj, a senior BJP leader said in apparent reference to the Garg and the Haridwar Municipal Corporation workers.

Garg is a known supporter of Cabinet minister Kaushik who represents the Haridwar (city) assembly constituency. Maharaj happens to be the minister in-charge for Haridwar district.

The violent scuffle, in which scores of people were injured, ensued after supporters of Kaushik and Maharaj came to blows over removing allegedly illegal structures outside the latter’s ashram. The supporters of the two ministers have also got police case registered against one another.

“It is unfortunate that the mayor got the wall around the ashram demolished. The action was taken on the false pretext that the town was getting flooded because of the wall,” Maharaj said asking how could just one wall cause water logging in Haridwar.

Maharaj dubbed the action as an act of vendetta. “What got his (mayor’s) goat is that I got re-tendering of a car parking in the Hari-ki-Pairi area done. The mayor had rented it out for Rs 1 crore,” he alleged, adding that he “invited open bids and the same car parking area was rented out on contract for over Rs 3 crore.” Maharaj alleged that in a review meeting of Haridwar district recently Garg had said that he should have the right to rent out all parking lots so that he could manage the affairs of the city in a better way.

“He (mayor) made that observation because he intended to augment the city’s resources so that the employees of the municipal corporation could be paid their salaries,” the mayor’s brother Maneesh Garg said.

Speaking on behalf of the mayor who is admitted to a hospital, Maneesh justified the action of getting the wall near Maharaj’s ashram demolished. “It was a correct move because that wall had resulted in water logging in the city,” he said. Maneesh claimed that the Municipal Corporation employees had garbage dumped outside the Ashram gate in reaction to Maharaj’s supporters’ violent attack on them and the mayor.

State BJP president Ajay Bhatt, however, sought to make light of the issue. “Not much should be read into what Maharaj has said because it was said in the heat of the moment,” he said adding that the issue, which was “circumstantial”, will be resolved. “I will speak to them (Maharaj and Kaushik) and have invited them for a meeting,” he told HT.