Gurgaon civic body razes senior deputy mayor’s property, kicks up a storm

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GURGAON: The demolition of a building partly owned by senior deputy mayor and Congress councillor Yashpal Batra on Friday roiled the city’s normally placid political landscape amid allegations that he was the victim of his own government’s vendetta.

The MCG, which carried out the demolition, said the commercial building, in Old Gurgaon’s New Colony area, was “illegal” and had been under the scanner since 2012. But it was the timing of the civic body’s move that triggered the political sniping.

A source at the MCG said allegations of a political motive in the civic body’s move weren’t unfounded as Yashpal Batra, the senior deputy mayor, was spotted at the induction ceremony of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, who joined BJP earlier this month after being a Congressman all his political career.

The MCG rubbished the allegations, saying it was “pure coincidence” that the demolition should happen now and it’s not unusual for the civic body to take action against its own men. “There were gross violations in this building due to which a demolition was carried out in 2012. Instead of having 66% coverage area, the construction was carried out in 95% area. Also, even though permission was granted for only two and a half storeys, five storeys were constructed. In fact, during the 2012 demolition, portions of the building that were demolished were built again,” said Praveen Kumar, commissioner of MCG.

That demolition was halted midway after the stakeholders gave an affidavit saying they will raze the building themselves. “We have decided to lodge an FIR against the junior engineer and sub-divisional officer who approved the building plan. We are not targeting anybody for political reasons as is being claimed,” he said.

Inderjit, though, didn’t buy that and said the move would be counterproductive for Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. “Not only have they demolished his building, they have also lodged an FIR against his wife. These are pressure tactics to terrorise these people. These are tactics which I would not employ. This will work against the chief minister and his retinue,” the MP told TOI.

The police didn’t confirm if an FIR had indeed been lodged. The councilor, when contacted, was non-committal on whether he would quit Congress. “There are so many illegal structures. Nobody even looks at them. This action was not warranted as we had all necessary documents. I do not want to say anything more than this at this point in time,” he said.


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