NEW DELHI - New Delhi authorities cut power and water supplies to homes of former ministers and lawmakers, including India's last federal civil aviation minister, after they ignored repeated eviction warnings, reports said Sunday.
Congress Party ally and former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, along with ex-Congress lawmakers like cricketer-turned-politician Mohammad Azharuddin, refused to leave despite a crushing election defeat at the hands of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May.
"Power and water supplies have been disconnected to a total 30 houses occupied by former ministers and ex-MPs who are yet to vacate their government accommodations despite being given adequate time to do so," an unidentified New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) senior official was quoted by the Times of India as saying.
While Ajit Singh admitted that he had no right to occupy the official home, he argued that many BJP ministers and lawmakers lived in the plush Lutyens' whitewashed bungalows during the two-term rule of the Congress-led coalition government.
"I am not entitled to this house anymore since I am not an MP. They (NDMC)...asked me to vacate. I told them I am packing," 75-year-old Singh told reporters on Saturday after authorities cut water and electricity at his central Delhi home.
According to authorities, ministers and MPs must vacate their official accommodation within a month of the appointment of a new government.
The NDMC official added that they began disconnecting power and water supplies only after occupants failed to meet a Sept 4 deadline to pack up and leave.