The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has issued an explanation notice to district Congress president Gurpreet Singh Gogi, and has called for all the documents pertaining to the permission and legalities of his buildings in Ghumar Mandi area.
Interestingly, Gogi is also the councillor of the same area from ward number 53. Following the allegations of his shops, home and a hostel being constructed on the encroached piece of land, he has been asked to submit relevant documents to the Municipal Corporation.
Three properties owned by Gogi — his home, a hostel and five shops in Ghumar Mandi — are now under the scanner as complainant Gursimran Singh Mand, a Congress leader who was expelled from the party last month, lodged a complaint against Gogi on the email service of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The spat in the Ludhiana Congress started when Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa visited Ludhiana and a faction led by former DCC president Pawan Dewan protested against him. Following the protests, Dewan, Mand and some block presidents were expelled from the PPCC by the disciplinary committee. Gurpreet Singh Gogi was then elevated to the post of District Congress Committee president in place of Dewan.
In his complaint to the deputy CM on January 5, Mand wrote, “As per maps passed by MC, almost 40 feet of road passes through the area where Gogi’s home, shops and hostel complex are constructed at present. The constructions are illegal and have been done after encroaching on the MC land. We demand a free and fair inquiry in the case and if found illegal, the constructions should be demolished.”
The allegations about Gogi’s properties being constructed on the encroached land have taken a serious turn as the MC on May 7, 2014, demolished more than 60 shops and residences in the same area, terming them encroachments following orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The MC claimed that 2,200 yards of land was encroached on by people and was originally meant to develop a green belt as per original town planning scheme. Most families were from low-income groups who were rendered homeless after the action and questioned why Gogi’s properties in the same area were not demolished.
Monika Anand, assistant town planner, zone D, confirmed that a notice had been issued to Gogi. “We have issued the notice asking for explanation and related documents of his home, hostel and shops in the vicinity as the complaint claimed the constructions are illegal. We have asked for documents within seven days,” she told Newsline.
‘Conspiracy against me… political vendetta’
Congress district president Gurpreet Singh Gogi called it a “political vendetta”. “My home has been in existence for 25 years and hostel has all required permissions. Shops are also approved by MC. It is a conspiracy against me and a political vendetta by some expelled leaders from the party. I will fully cooperate with MC in investigation,” said Gogi.