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Haryana village enters presidential race
Santosh K Joy in New Delhi | June 19, 2007 18:02 IST
The people of a Haryana village have laid claims to the President's post, saying they are the original owners of the land on which the Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] stands.
Satish Kumar, the sarpanch of Malcha village, which abuts the diplomatic enclave in the capital and is not far from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said: "Almost all of Lutyen's Delhi including the Rashtrapati Bhavan stands on the land which originally belonged to us. After 1910, the English people chased us away and we were forced to settle in Sonipat district in Haryana with no means of living.
"After about a century of struggle, what we are left with is a pack of litigations in Tis Hazari court for land compensations. It's time the government restored our honour by giving us an opportunity for the top post," he added.
When asked whether it could be a reason to claim the president's post, Kumar says, "We know we have no political backing but our claim is rather an attempt to draw attention to our plight."
The villagers claimed that the borders of the erstwhile Malcha village and their agricultural lands stretched right from the Paharganj till the present diplomatic area in Chanakyapuri. There is also a road named after the village in the Chanakyapuri area.
"The India gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan and all other official buildings in the New Delhi area are built on our land. We were left landless by the British regime and to our surprise the we failed to get justice even after independence," says Narayan Singh, a village elder.