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  India   Politics  02 Jul 2020  Congress fumes after Priyanka Gandhi is asked to vacate her official bunglow

Congress fumes after Priyanka Gandhi is asked to vacate her official bunglow

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Jul 2, 2020, 12:00 pm IST
Updated : Jul 2, 2020, 12:08 pm IST

Gandhi was asked to vacate her official bungalow by August 1.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (PTI)
 Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (PTI)

A fuming Congress on Wednesday alleged that the Modi government was "blinded by hate and vendetta" against its leadership, and said it will not be cowed down by such moves after it asked Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to vacate the bungalow allotted to her in Lutyens' Delhi within a month, saying she is not entitled to the facility following withdrawal of her SPG protection.

According to an order issued by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, Gandhi was asked to vacate her official bungalow by August 1 failing which "it will attract damage charges/penal rent as per rules".

 

The government had in November last year replaced the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, with Z-plus security by the CRPF.

"Consequent upon withdrawal of SPG protection and grant of Z+ security cover by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which does not  have provision for allotment/retention of government accommodation on security grounds to you (Gandhi), the allotment of Type 6B House No. 35, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi is hereby cancelled w.e.f 01/07/2020.
One month concessional period on the same rent up to August 1 is allowed as per rules," the Directorate of Estates said in its order.

 

An official said that the Congress general secretary, who is in-charge for Uttar Pradesh,had been allotted the bungalow on February 21, 1997 as she was an SPG protectee.

The Z-plus security does not entail such a facility and she has to vacate 35 Lodhi Estate bungalow, the official said.

"Persons with Z+ security cover are not entitled for the government accommodation. Such exceptions can be made only by the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation based on security assessment by the Ministry of Home Affairs on their recommendation," the official said.

The official also said that the CCA in its meeting held on December 7, 2000 had reviewed the guidelines on allotment of government accommodation on security ground and decided that in fu ture, no private person, other than those who are SPG protectees, will be given such facility on security ground.

 

"Such allotment were to be done at the market rate -- 50 times of normal rent. Later, in July 2003, it was decided to charge special rate of licence fee like 20 times of the normal rent from such allottees," official added.

CONGRESS FUMES

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party does not fear from such notices and will continue to highlight the "wrong-doings of a failed Modi government".

"PM Narendra Modi and his Government are blinded by rage, hatred and revenge against the Congress leadership. Unnerved by political activism of Priyanka ji in UP, Modi Government has stooped even further by issuing house vacation notice. Such frustrated attempts will not deter us," he tweeted.

 

He said Priyanka Gandhi has also been highlighting the failures of the UP government.
"Priyanka Gandhi is Indira Gandhi's grand-daughter and neither she nor the Congress leadership will be cowed down by such notices," Surjewala said

The Congress had reacted sharply to the withdrawal of SPG cover to the Gandhi family and had even raised the issue in Parliament.

Senior party leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Wednesday that the the Union Government should withdraw the cancellation order in the interest of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's security and safety.

All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev said that the government, consciously, had issued the notice.

 

"I have to say that there was a time when the rumours were going around that Priyanka will be a Rajya Sabha MP and was one of the reasons she wanted to stay in her bungalow. But she proved all those speculations wrong, said Dev.

"Let us not forget that she did not take a bungalow with any sense of entitlement, she took it because of security reasons. I believe that she has never taken undue advantage of any situation, " Dev added.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said, "House was allotted to them because of security reasons, they had received massive threats."
"After Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi incident, you can see they were facing severe threats. As a result, the house was allotted to them, " Shukla added.

 

Another Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in a tweet, "BJP party's priority list. Before evicting the Chinese intruders who have not only occupied strategic heights in Ladakh but also, killed our soldiers dastardly, evicting Priyanka Gandhi from her bungalow is more important."

Tags: priyanka gandhi vadra, indian national congress, lutyen’s delhi, government of india