The urban development (UD) ministry on Thursday allotted a bungalow on Pandara Road, located in the leafy Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for five years.
Last month, the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) – headed by home minister Rajnath Singh – had cleared a proposal for allotting a government bungalow to Swamy on security grounds.
The BJP leader is spearheading the National Herald case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Both of them were granted bail by the Delhi high court last month.
Being a private citizen, Swamy is not entitled to a government bungalow under the usual criteria for allotment of such accommodation. The UD ministry’s allotment norms, which were amended earlier this year, clearly state that the only private citizens entitled to government accommodation are people who face a security threat as well as those covered under the Special Protection Group (SPG).
At present, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra – a private person and an SPG protectee – is permitted government accommodation. Swamy enjoys Z-category security under the central protectee list.
“We have allotted bungalow number AB-14 to Subramanian Swamy. The CCA decided to allot the bungalow to Swamy on the home ministry’s recommendation. The ministry has said that Swamy faces a security threat because of his political activities,” a senior UD ministry official said.
The official said that the BJP leader’s present residence in Nizamuddin East doesn’t have enough space to accommodate the 40 CRPF commandos placed at his disposal. It was felt that monitoring his security would be much easier at a government bungalow, he added.
Swamy, however, would have to pay five times the normal licence fee for living in a government bungalow.
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.
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.