Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday vacated her official Lodhi Estate bungalow in the national capital, almost a month after the Centre had cancelled the government accommodation allotted to her with the direction to vacate the house within August 1.
She would be staying for a few days in her Gurugram penthouse before shifting to central Delhi, where she has finalised a house, news agency PTI reported quoting sources. Renovations are currently going on in her new house in Delhi, it added.
The Ministry of Urban Development issued a notice to Gandhi on July 1, asking her to vacate the bungalow, as she was no longer eligible for it after her security cover was downgraded in 2019.
Priyanka has been assigned Z+ security with CRPF cover on the all-India basis, which does not have any provision for allotment or retention of government accommodation on that ground. She is not an SPG protectee now.
Persons with Z+ security cover are not entitled to government accommodation. However, exceptions can be made only by the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) based on security perception assessment by the MHA on their recommendation. “In view of this, she is no longer entitled to government accommodation and her allotment has been cancelled by the Directorate of Estate on 01.07.2020 with the direction to vacate the house within one month,” the release had read.
As per records, she has accumulated dues of Rs 3,46,677 as on June 30 and she has been issued noticed to clear these dues and rent for the period she vacates the accommodation. According to Urban Development Ministry sources, she has made online payment of balance amount due to her. Hence, now dues as on June 30 is nil against her.
She was allotted Bangalow No 35, Lodhi Estate on February 21, 1997, on security ground as an SPG protectee. The CCA in its meeting on December 7, 2000, reviewed the guidelines on the allotment of government accommodation on security ground and decided that in future no private person, other than those who are SPG protectees, will be given government accommodation on security ground. Such allotment was to be done at the market rate i.e. 50 times of normal rent.
In July 2003, it was decided to charge special rate of licence fee i.e. 20 times of the normal rent from such allottees.