NEW DELHI: Even as outgoing Lt Governor Markandey Singh was packing his belongings to vacate his official residence 3 Midal Nehru Marge-on Monday there was speculation in Delhi Administration circles over the possible cause behind his sudden sacking.

As soon as Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao took over on June 21-1991 everyone in the Administration thought that Singh would be replaced by a Congress appointee within a few days Yet he survived a full 10 months and served days after his mentor Chandra Shekhar’s departure.

For some time now that rumor had died down and it appeared that Singh had managed to persuade the Home Ministry to let him contribute in office However it was not so. “I was served marching orders as suddenly as I had got the appointment orders” claimed Singh while talking to newspersons at his official residence on Monday.

He however pointed that the 4ifferences with the political bosses in Delhi stared when he ordered raids against the Naya Bazar rice traders. It may be recalled that Surface Transport Minister Jagdish Tyler and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jarachad Khandel wal had met the 14Govemorto lobby for the Naya Bazar traders. Administration Sources had unexpectedly leaked Out Tyler’s role in defending the traders much to the embarrassment of the Minister.

Although Singh refused to say whether there are other reasons for the differences between him and the local politicians there were sufficient indications that there as more than one reason for   ouster he had tread on the toes o President of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPC) H.K.L Bhagat. The demolition exercise according to sources had annoyed not only the Congress chief whose constituency East Delhi was singled out some BIP MPs were also agitated over demolition of unauthorized shops. The shops belonged to BIP supporters East Delhi MP B.I.Sharma had threatened to launch a counter movement if the “Municipal Corporation carried on with the drive

The LG brushed aside these re marks and claimed that he had Good relationship with the East Delhi MP. However one thing that had unnerved the ruling party circles in Delhi most was the renewed interest crossed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots since Singh took over as LG. According to Sikh leaders who have been trying to get the culprits of 1984 riots booked Markandey Singh was the first LU Governor who actively pursued these cases.

Singhs detractors however al legged that there were several instances of corruption and undermining law under his steward ship. They claimed that while the Administration was acting tough officers were making underhand deals with payoffs. A case in point according to them is the new excise policy in which they allege that the administration allowed serving of hard liquor in restaurants for the first time in the Capital.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996