The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) on Thursday decided to allot a government bungalow to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for five years because he “faces a security threat”.
Swamy, a private citizen who lives in Nizamuddin East, is not entitled to a government bungalow under the criteria for allotment of such accommodation. According to the Union urban development (UD) ministry’s allotment norms, which were amended earlier this year, the only ‘private persons’ entitled to government accommodation are those who face a security threat and are covered under the Special Protection Group (SPG).
The BJP leader enjoys Z-category security under the central protectee list.
At present, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra – a private person and an SPG protectee – is allowed to have government accommodation.
“The decision was taken at a CCA meeting on Thursday, following a recommendation by the home ministry that Swamy faces a security threat because of his political activities. As a Z-category protectee,
Swamy gets around 40 CRPF commandos and there is no place at his present place of residence for deployment of armed guards. It was felt that it would be much easier to provide and monitor his security in a government bungalow,” said a ministry official.
Swamy, however, will have to pay five times the normal licence fee for living in a government bungalow. “The bungalow will be in Lutyens’ Delhi, but the UD ministry is yet to decide which one to allot,” the official added.
The BJP leader is spearheading the National Herald case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi as well as her son, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Both were granted bail by the Delhi HC.
Soon after the Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power last year, Swamy had asked the home ministry to increase his security cover – citing threats from various quarters. Following this, the ministry enhanced his security to Z-category across India. Before that, Swamy had enjoyed Z-category security only in Tamil Nadu.
Even in 2011, Swamy had cited repercussions arising from his role in the 2G spectrum scam case to seek enhanced security from the then UPA government. However, his demand was turned down.
The CCA also allowed MS Bitta, chairman of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front, and KPS Gill, former DGP of the Punjab Police, to retain their government accommodation till May 2018 on security grounds. Besides this, it cleared the allotment of a bungalow to Prasar Bharti chairman A Surya Prakash for the period of his tenure, and made several officials – including the member and member-secretary of the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes; the chairperson of the National Company Law Tribunal; and the DG of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan – eligible for government accommodation.