Residents protest demolition

NEW DELHI SEPT. 6 . A large number of residents of Tughlaqabad in Outer Delhi, led by the area Member of the Legislative Assembly, Shish Pal, today held a demonstration in front of Raj Nivas here in protest against the demolition of a large number of residential units by the Delhi Development Authority in their colony recently.

Addressing the demonstrators, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president, Prem Singh, accused the DDA of carrying out the demolitions at the behest of the BJP. The demolitions, he alleged, had also taken place in violation of the directive of the Election Commission.

Asserting that houses, which were over 40 years old, had been razed by the DDA demolition squad in violation of all rules and regulations, Mr Singh said through the civic agency it was the BJP that was indulging in selective demolition of colonies and slum clusters that were located in Congress strongholds.

The people of these clusters, he said, were being systematically uprooted from their dwellings to that they could be denied their voting right when the time comes for the Delhi Assembly elections later this year. Thus, Mr Singh alleged that a major conspiracy has been hatched to deny certain section of the people of their rights. Also, he charged the DDA with becoming a party to the conspiracy.

Mr Singh also asserted that the Election Commission had in a directive on June 26 this year put a bar on demolition in any manner in residential areas as also removal of slum clusters or relocation of colonies in view of the forthcoming elections to the Delhi Assembly.

Claiming that the Election Commission had taken this step to ensure free and fair poll during the Assembly elections to enable all the registered voters to cast their votes, the DPCC president said the DDA still colluded with the BJP leadership in blatantly flouting the order.

The Congress leader also called upon the Lieutenant-Governor to exercise his executive powers as Chairman of DDA to reign in the Authority from indulging in a reckless demolition spree. "It is also his responsibility to ensure that the voters were not ejected from their dwellings on any flimsy ground'', he said.

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