Will abide by notice to vacate bungalow, Rahul Gandhi tells Lok Sabha body
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he will abide by the Lok Sabha secretariat’s notice to vacate his official bungalow after his disqualification as MP, even as his party leaders accused the government of “threatening and humiliating” him.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he will abide by the Lok Sabha secretariat’s notice to vacate his official bungalow after his disqualification as Member of Parliament (MP), even as his party leaders accused the government of “threatening and humiliating” him.
The secretariat on Monday asked the former Wayanad MP to vacate his official bungalow – 12 Tughlak Lane – by April 22 after he was disqualified from the Lower House due to his conviction in a criminal defamation case in Gujarat last week.
Responding to the notice on Tuesday, Gandhi said: “As an elected Member of the Lok Sabha over the last four terms, it is the mandate of the people to which I owe the happy memories of my time spent there. Without prejudice to my rights, I will, of course, abide by the details contained in your letter.”
After a politician ceases to be a member of either House, the official accommodation allotted to him is withdrawn, but the period of time taken in sending an eviction notice is often much longer. Congress leaders on Monday had pointed out that some leaders, such as Ghulam Nabi Azad who retired from the Rajya Sabha in 2022, still retain their official bungalow.
Hitting out at the government over the eviction notice, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said he condemned the government’s attempt to “threaten, scare and humiliate” Gandhi.
Kharge also said that Gandhi could go and live with his mother, Sonia Gandhi, at her 10 Janpath residence or he could himself get a house by vacating one for the former MP.
“They will do everything to weaken him (Rahul). He can go live with his mother or he can come to me, I will vacate one for him,” Kharge told reporters.
“I condemn this attitude of the government to threaten, scare and humiliate him (Rahul). This isn’t the way. Sometimes, we’ve been without a bungalow for three-four months. I received my bungalow after six months. People do this to humiliate others,” he added.
Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal also condemned the eviction notice. “Rahul Gandhi is not worried about the house. Every Indian who believes in the values of India has a place in their hearts,” he said.
He alleged the move was an attempt to intimidate Gandhi. “We are not going to be scared by all this,” he added.
Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal also took a swipe at the government. “Rahul asked to vacate bungalow, their (the government’s) conscience has gone on a vacation. Petty politics, of petty men,” he tweeted.
Asked about the eviction notice at a press conference, Union minister Smriti Irani said: “The house does not belong to him, it belongs to the common people.”