Mayawati’s another demolition plan faces law suitNovember 17th, 2008 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Nov 17 (IANS) The Allahabad High Court Monday heard a suit against a proposed move by the Uttar Pradesh government to pull down 103 flats to make way for yet another project initiated by Chief Minister Mayawati. Petitioner Mithilesh Kumar Singh alleged that the flats were being pulled down for expansion of a memorial dedicated to
Mayawati’s political mentor, the late Kanshi Ram. But the government claimed that the demolitions were necessitated as the buildings had become old and dilapidated.
Interestingly, the flats, allotted to government engineers, are not more than 30 years old.
The chief minister’s blue-eyed lieutenant Satish Chandra Misra was present in the court, and argued against the maintainability of the suit.
“Since the occupants of the flats were engineers working in the state’s irrigation department, they were free to plead their own grievance and no third person could raise any issue related to them,” pointed out Misra.
Widely known as the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s Brahmin mascot responsible for giving shape to Mayawati’s social engineering dream of bringing together Dalits and the upper caste Hindus under a common political banner, Misra is also a lawyer of repute.
Before donning the current mantle of BSP national general secretary and chairman of the state’s advisory council, he had been the state’s advocate-general in Mayawati’s earlier regime.
Misra also claimed that the flats had been declared unfit for occupation because of acute dampness on account of seepage from an adjoining canal. “A proposal seeking alternative accommodation for the occupants was moved by none other than the engineers’ association following which the state government made necessary arrangement,” he went on to tell the court.
Arguing on behalf of petitioner Mithilesh Kumar Singh, counsel Prashant Chandra alleged that the engineers’ association was pressurised into signing on the dotted line.
The petitioner termed the proposal for demolition as uncalled for and one intended only to fulfill the “whims” of the chief minister, who had been on a demolition spree ever since she assumed the chief minister’s office for the fourth time in May 2007.
While asking the petitioner to file a rejoinder to the objections raised by the state government, the Lucknow bench headed by Sr. Judge Pradeep Kant fixed Dec 8 for the next hearing.