Priyanka Gandhi vacates Delhi bungalow, will be residing in temporary accommodation says Congress
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra vacated her government allocated Lodhi Estate house on Thursday, a day before the deadline for the eviction notice issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, officials aware of the development confirmed.
Gandhi on July 1 was asked to vacate her bungalow, 35 Lodhi Estate in Delhi, within a month on the ground that she is ineligible for the entitlement, as she no longer enjoys the security cover of the Special Protection Group (SPG).
She will be residing in a temporary accommodation until a more permanent accommodation in Delhi rented by her is ready for use, Congress said in a statement on Thursday.
“Priyanka Gandhi Vadra handed over the possession of 35 Lodhi Estate, previously allotted to her on Security Grounds, to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) today. JE of CPWD Shri. P Senthil Kumar in the presence of Shri. Vikas Rana, CE (NDZ-I) CPWD, Shri. Yogesh Kumar Kardam, AE (PAWD-I, CPWD), Shri. Manoj Kumar Chauhan, AE, CPWD Services, Shri B.S. Rana, JE (PAWD-I, CPWD) accepted the keys to the bungalow on behalf of the CPWD after a full inspection establishing that the house was handed over in good condition. They have issued her a “Vacation Report” for the premises on behalf of the CPWD,” Congress said in a statement on Thursday.
Hindustan Times has reviewed a copy of the vacation report issued on Thursday. The department of estate confirmed the development to HT. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs did not comment on the matter when contacted by HT.
“Smt. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has also passed on to the CPWD and the Directorate of Estates, a full inventory of privately installed fittings, fixtures etc. She has paid all electricity, water and previous dues and is awaiting the final assessment for the licence fee of the month of July from the Directorate of Estates due to her on the 31st July to close all accounts with reference to the allotment and subsequent cancellation of the lease of the government bungalow,” Congress said.
She was allotted the Lodhi Estate bungalow on February 21, 1997, as an SPG protectee.
Priyanka Gandhi on July 14 had rubbished claims that she had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an extension of the tenure beyond August 1.
“This is FAKE NEWS. I have not made any such request to the government. As per the eviction letter handed to me on July 1, I will be vacating the government accommodation at 35 Lodhi Estate by August 1,” she had tweeted.
Urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri had alleged that a “powerful Congress leader” had requested him to let her stay on at 35 Lodhi Estate on July 4, three days after the eviction notice was served on her.
“Facts speak for themselves! A powerful Congress leader with much clout in the party called me on July 4 at 12.05 pm to request that 35, Lodhi Estate be allotted to another Congress MP so that Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra can stay on. Let’s not sensationalise everything please,” Puri had tweeted.
In the order issued by the department of estate, the ministry had stated that any stay longer than August 1, the government order said, will attract “damage charges and penal rent” as per rules.
Hours after the notice was served to her on July 1, she paid off all her pending dues, amounting to Rs 3,46,677, until June 30, the ministry had said.
“Upon withdrawal of SPG protection and grant of Z+ security cover my ministry of home affairs, which does not have provision for allotment/retention of government accommodation on security grounds to you, the allotment of Type 6B house No 35, Lodhi estate is cancelled,” the notice had said.
The allotment of Central government bungalows is done through the General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) Rules, 2017, of the directorate of estates.
The ministry has already allotted the bungalow to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajya Sabha member and party spokesperson, Anil Baluni. Officials familiar with the development told HT that the ministry has allotted the type 6B bungalow to Baluni.
“Talked to Mr Anil Baluni and his wife today. I pray to God for his good health and happiness. I give my best wishes to them for the new house and hope that they too get as much happiness in the house as I and my family got,” Gandhi had tweeted on Monday.