The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Eviction threat to evictor

New Delhi, Oct. 7: The man known for his eviction drives has himself received an eviction notice.

Former Union minister for urban development Jagmohan is finding it difficult to retain his 61, Lodhi Estate residence in Delhi.

While Jagmohan is going about finding a way out legally, Union labour minister and Rajasthan MP Sis Ram Ola today decided that the best way to get a good bungalow at 1, Sunehari Bagh is to flex a few muscles and grab it.

Before deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal could come and take possession of the bungalow allotted to him today, Ola decided that the house which belonged to Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje with all its first-class trappings had to be his. So he walked in with his security and claimed it despite heated arguments.

While ministry officials said Ola-style take-overs were quite normal, what remains to be seen is whether the deputy Speaker can reconcile to giving up what looks by all accounts first-class accommodation.

But Jagmohan, who as Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman faced the Shah Commission of Inquiry for clearing the Turkman Gate slums during the Emergency, is learning about housing hassles the hard way.

Along with other former ministers of the NDA government like Kanshi Ram Rana, Vinod Khanna, Ved Prakash Goel, Rajshekhar Murthy, Ramesh Bais and Ananth Kumar, Jagmohan has also got eviction letters.

Jagmohan's discomfiture has delighted his rivals in the BJP like Madan Lal Khurana and Vijay Kumar Malhotra. Jagmohan had developed serious differences with Delhi BJP MPs Khurana, Malhotra and Sahib Singh Verma who opposed his strict anti-encroachment stand when it came to urban planning in the capital.

But the 'Demolition Man', who once issued eviction notices to several overstaying ministers as well as journalists living in the Lutyens' bungalows, is not willing to give up his residence without a fight.

Jagmohan, who was the lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir and is entitled to Z-plus security, is looking for the kind of relief from the Cabinet Committee on Accommodations that former Punjab police chief K.P.S. Gill has got that has helped him retain his bungalow.

Although the two months' grace period that he is entitled to has expired, Jagmohan has written a letter to the Union urban development ministry for allowing him to use his bungalow as there were still perceived threats to his life. Urban development minister Ghulam Nabi Azad forwarded his request to the cabinet panel, which takes these decisions.

The new Union home ministry guidelines do not recommend accommodation anymore on the basis of security guidelines. But Jagmohan wants to be an exception to the rule.

The former minister may get a few more months in his old house before the cabinet committee finally decides.

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