Priyanka asked to vacate Delhi bungalow, Cong targets govt

Govt says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is no longer an SPG protectee and thus not entitled for the benefit.

In a move that will trigger political skirmish, the government has asked Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to vacate her government accommodation within a month.

 The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has written a letter to Priyanka asking her to vacate the Lodhi Estate bungalow by 1 August as she is no longer an SPG protectee and there is no provision for government accommodation for people having Z+ security. The letter further reads that she will be allowed one more month of concessional rent and after 1 August, damage charges will be levied on her which will be 50-times the normal rent.

As per records, she has accumulated Rs 3,46,677 dues as on 30 June 2020. She has been issued notice to clear dues and rent for the period till she vacates the accommodation.

 According to sources within the Congress, Priyanka will be shifting to Lucknow at ShielaKaul’s house. That house has been renovated and people in the know say that she has been wanting to shift for a while, but could not due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As general secretary in-charge of UP, she needs to stay in Lucknow to help the party rebuild the base.

But this order has triggered a sharp political reaction from the Congress. According to Randeep Surjewala, “It is well known that the current dispensation is blind with its hatred against the Congress leadership. Now they have resorted to this cheap level of politics. The decision to send notice to Priyanka Gandhi shows the nervousness of the Modi-Yogi government. We are not afraid of such diktats.”

Sources in the government, however, insist that there is no politics behind this decision and rule is being followed in this case. According to them, as per CCA in its meeting on 7 December 2000 reviewed the guidelines on allotment of government accommodation on security ground and it was decided that in future no private person, except SPG protectee, shall be given government accommodation on security ground. Such allotment was to be done at the market rate which is 50-times the normal rent.