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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Aftermath of Bengal polls: Left out of Lutyens' Zone

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 06, 2011
First Published: 23:26 IST(6/7/2011) | Last Updated: 23:28 IST(6/7/2011)

Loss of electoral ground in the last assembly election in West Bengal is translating into a loss of precious real estate in Lutyens’ Delhi for the Left parties. So serious is the crisis that communists who use their MPs’ accommodations to house party whole-timers are eyeing private real estate to carry on their fight against capitalism.

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As the filing of nominations for 10 Rajya Sabha seat start from Tuesday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) are scrambling to secure shelter for their comrades. The two parties are set to lose three out of four accommodations in Delhi.

“Yes, it is a major problem for us. We are thinking of hiring a private property and make a commune for our comrades”, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury told HT. Adding to its woes, next summer, the CPM will lose two more MPs and their residences. The Congress and Trinamool Congress are set to gain at the Left’s cost.

The MP accommodations are highly subsidised, with the rent depending on the size of the property. But even the highest rent is less than R5000.

RSP also stands to lose its bungalow at 19 Feroze Shah Road which it has enjoyed for more than thirty years. “It serves as our central office in Delhi,” said the outgoing RSP MP Abani Roy.

The blow on bungalows comes after the four Left parties had to give up 36 accommodations in 2009 as it was reduced to just 24 MPs from 61 of 2004.

“My bungalow (at 29 F Shah road) houses four families and the office of Sahmat (a left-leaning social organisation),” said Yechury. If he is not re-nominated by the CPM, situation may get worse as a new MP may not be entitled for a similar accommodation.

Even if Yechury retains his RS berth, Brinda Karat’s three flats and Md Amin’s 19 Feroze Shah Road will go.

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