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Evicting a Former Minister Isn't Easy. Ask the Delhi Police.

Author: Sandeep Phukan
Publication: NDTV.com
Date: September 9, 2014
URL: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/evicting-a-former-minister-isn-t-easy-ask-the-delhi-police-589144?curl=1410326837

Getting former UPA ministers to vacate government bungalows is proving to be a tough task for the Modi government.

This afternoon, when a Delhi Police team landed at former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh's 12 Tuglaq Road residence, it faced stiff resistance from his supporters.

Mr Singh's party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, was having a meeting of sugarcane farmers when the police team arrived. Immediately, his supporters, about 500 in number, blocked the police.

Mr Singh is out of the country and wasn't present when the incident happened. Sensing that the situation could turn ugly, the police team left. 

Officials told NDTV they will return to finish the eviction process once the former minister returns to the country.

"I don't know what happened as I am away. I have given in writing that I have taken a house on rent but need some time to move in there as renovation work is going on," Mr Singh told NDTV on phone from Dubai.

The bungalow has been allotted to Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been staying in a private guest house ever since the BJP government took charge three months ago.

Mr Singh is one of the 16 former ministers who were served eviction notices by the government in July.

Almost all ministers have vacated their bungalows, but Mr Singh remains among the few who remain. A member of his party strongly defended him, saying, "When the BJP government had lost power, most of their ministers continued to stay on for 10 years in bungalows they were not entitled to."

The government says these politicians owe nearly Rs. 21 lakh as fine. Of 43 former ministers, only six vacated the official homes in time. The UPA lost power after two terms in the election that saw the BJP storm to power.
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