The Modi government has cancelled the allotment of four bungalows given to the Congress party — including the 24 Akbar Road which houses the AICC headquarters — after it failed to stick to its deadline to move into a new location.
Apart from its headquarters, the other three bungalows that the Congress has been asked to vacate are 26 Akbar Road, housing the frontal wing Sewa Dal, the Youth Congress office at 5, Raisina Road and C-II/109 Chanakyapuri, allotted to Vincent George, a close aide of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress, however, may not have to move out in a hurry. It has asked the urban development (UD) ministry for three more years to build its new office at Rouse Avenue, a 8000 square metre plot of land which was allotted to the party in 2010.
“We have received the notice and sought an extension,” Congress treasurer Motilal Vora said.
A government official told HT that the ministry was likely to accede to the Congress’ request received only after the Centre issued the cancellation orders last month.
The government has, however, made it clear that the party would have to pay a penal rate of rent — euphemistically called the market rate — for overstaying from June 2013 onwards.
The official ‘market rate’ for a 4,000-square-metre bungalow with manicured lawns comes to just about `1.4 lakh a month.
This is not the first time that the Congress has received such a notice. In April 2000, the Vajpayee government had cancelled the allotments of three bungalows — 26 Akbar Road, 5 Raisina Road and C-II/109 Chanakyapuri.
After the Congress failed to vacate these premises, the directorate of estates filed a case and initiated eviction proceedings. However a year later, the Delhi high court stayed the eviction order.