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AAP's youngest minister roots are in Jhajjar village

punjab Updated: Dec 27, 2013 20:26 IST
Sat Singh

The maiden cabinet of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi will have a 26-year-old Dalit girl from Chhara village in Jhajjar district, 60km from New Delhi. Rakhi Birla will be the youngest minister to oath at the Ram Lila Maidan on Saturday.

Rakhi, whose grandfather Tara Chand alias Taray shifted to Delhi in early 80s owing to his job as a sweeper in a government department there, is the youngest among four siblings. Her father Bhupinder Singh Bidhlan is a social activist.

First-timer Rakhi had defeated four-time MLA and former minister Raj Kumar Chauhan from Mangolpuri assembly constituency by a margin of over 10,000 votes.

Currently, her grandfather Tara Chand lives at Chhara, which is dominated by Jats and is stronghold of Dalal khap. He gets pension from the government and has a 50 square yards plot at the Valmiki Basti of the village.

Rajbir Singh, a government employee and native of this village, recounted Tara Chand's role in fighting for social issues way back in 1970's. He said that Taray was a disciple of Lala Chandgi Ram, a social activist of Chhara village, who promoted education among the Scheduled Caste community.

Beside Rakhi, former NSG commondo Surender Singh Dalal, who won from Delhi cantonment against BJP MLA Karan Singh Tanwar, also hails from this village, where every third house has someone in the defence services.

Sunil Dalal, a property dealer from this village said that though villagers don't recognise Rakhi as she did not spend much time here, but her family is still connected with their roots and visit the village regularly.

Murthi Devi, a septuagenarian resident of the village, said that it was a proud moment for the village as the village girl has made a mark while projecting herself as a warrior against corruption.

Experts say that it's time to celebrate more because a girl from the district, which is known for its worst sex ratio in the country, has achieved the fete.

Commondo Surender Singh and Rakhi Birla during their first visit to Chhara village on December 17, after spectacular victory of AAP in Delhi, said that daughters should come forward by seeking higher education. "Aaj mein yaha Chhara gaon ki beti honay kay nattay bolnay aayi hoon ki, betiya bhi bahut kuch kar sakti hain (Being the daughter of Chhara village, today I am here to say that girls can also achieve a lot in life)," Rakhi had said.

Commondo Surender Singh, in his address, said, "Chhara villagers have always made the country proud whenever there was an exigency - be it 26/11 attack or Second World War, in which 26 soldiers from this village sacrificed their lives. Now Rakhi Birla and Surender Singh of this village have succeeded in waging a war against corruption."

Birla sirname result of clerical error

Maha Singh, who is close to Rakhi's family, said that Rakhi actually comes from Bidhlan clan, which has over 40-50 families in Chhara village. "Birla sirname she got after a clerical error in her matriculation certificate," he said.