MODI GOVT ASKS PRIYANKA GANDHI VADRA TO VACATE OFFICIAL LODHI ROAD BUNGALOW IN DELHI
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been asked to vacate her government bungalow in Delhi by 1 August.
In an order issued Wednesday, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said Vadra will have to vacate the Lodhi Road bungalow as she does not have Special Protection Group (SPG) protection anymore.
“Consequent upon withdrawal of SPG protection and grant of Z+ security cover by 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 number 35 in lodhi estate is hereby cancelled with effect from 1 July,” the order said.
The order added that Vadra will be given a concessional period of one month to vacate the bungalow.
It said any stay beyond 1 August will attract damage charges.
A senior housing and urban affairs ministry official told ThePrint that the accommodation was given to Vadra when she was given SPG protection, way back in February 1997. “Now, she no longer has SPG protection. She has Z+ security and as per rules such individuals are not allowed government accommodation unless the Union home ministry recommends so because of high theft perception. In this case we have not received any direction from the MHA,” the official, who did not want to be named said.
The official added that currently only a handful of people who don’t hold any position such as BJP veteran LK Advani have got a government accommodation.
“There are exceptions, which the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation decides following a risk assessment made by MHA,” the official said.
While she hasn’t yet released an official statement in response, sources close to Vadra said she will comply with the order.
“There is no other option. It was a government bungalow, so it will have to be vacated. Earlier too when the SPG protection was withdrawn, she didn’t object to it,” a close aide told ThePrint.
SPG cover was withdrawn last year
The order comes months after Vadra, along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former party president Rahul Gandhi, were stripped of the SPG security cover in November last year.
The family was instead given Z+ security by CRPF forces.
The ministry order said the withdrawal of her bungalow on Lodhi Road, which happens to be one of the most posh areas in the national capital, is a fallout of the SPG cover being withdrawn.
A month after the removal of the SPG cover, her husband Robert Vadra had said there was a “huge security lapse” due to the withdrawal.