Date: 30 Apr 2012

Comment ------------------------------ Retirement house controversy continues to dog President Patil\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ By Krishna Kumar\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 29 April 2012 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ House of controversy: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ President Pratibha Patil has decided not to move to the proposed house If President Pratibha Patil thought that returning the land in Pune would bring to end the controversy surrounding her post-retirement home, then she was clearly mistaken. For members of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) are determined to keep the issue alive. On Saturday, the IESM addressed a press meet in which they tore into Patil for claiming that she always had the interests of the army at heart. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The members of IESM, retd (Col) Suresh Patil and Anup Awasthi, a former navy officer, said they were forced to address the press conference as instead of returning the army land 'gracefully', Patil had launched a 'vilification campaign' against those who were fighting for the land's return. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 'In her press statement on Friday she tried to suggest that she was not involved in laying claim on the land, but that it was offered to her. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ But it is untrue as we have a letter sent by her secretary to the home ministry in which the President had demanded this land,' Awasthi said.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ He picked holes in the President's claim that she always had the best interests of the army widows at heart and had tried to solve their grievances.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Construction site: The house in Pune that was being built for her post-retirement 'A number of times, the war widows had tried to meet Patil to return the gallantry medals that had been awarded to their husbands as a protest against the government's apathy towards war widows. 'But she did not even bother to meet them,' Awasthi said. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ He said members of IESM too had to face the President's apathy whenever they went to meet her. Every time Patil would depute one of her undersecretaries to meet them, Awasthi claimed.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Read more: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ============================================================ 000000000