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Parties play politics over eviction notice

The eviction notice served by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to thousands of families living in Tughlaqabad village since the 14th century is slowly snowballing into a political issue.

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2011 00:32 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times

The eviction notice served by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to thousands of families living in Tughlaqabad village since the 14th century is slowly snowballing into a political issue.

While the ASI takes the plea that the villagers have “encroached upon” the government land, the two prominent parties of Delhi — the Congress and the BJP — with their eyes set on upcoming Municipal elections, have openly come out in support of the villagers.

A delegation of Congress leaders — south Delhi Member of Parliament Ramesh Kumar and Chhatarpur MLA Balram Tanwar among others — met chief minister Sheila Dikshit to reflect the tension prevailing in the village.

The move came just two days after a BJP delegation, led by leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, and area MLA Ramesh Bidhuri met Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna “to bring the matter to his notice”.
Yet another group of local leaders with west Delhi MP Mahabal Misra also met union culture minister Kumari Selja to request her to intervene into the matter.

Senior political leaders accept that if municipal elections had not been around the corner, the issue would not have seen so much political frenzy. The issue has been in Court for quite some time now, but never managed to gather so much political support.

“Tughlaqabad is among several Gujjar villages that are spread in south, south west and west Delhi. The elections in these areas are fought and won with the support of Gujjar votes. The political leaders know that lending their support to the cause would help them get some support and votes in the municipal elections next year,”said a senior Congress leader.

With the Congress facing dual problems of Corruption and inflation at the Centre, the local leaders are making efforts get some support at the grassroot level.

On the other hand, Tughlaqabad is one of two Assembly segments in Delhi where BJP managed to get more votes than the Congress could in the 2009 Parliament elections.

First Published: Oct 08, 2011 00:28 IST