Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi cleared her pending dues hours after the government announced it has cancelled the accommodations at 35 Lodhi Estate stating that she is no longer protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) and hence not eligible anymore.
“Ms Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has made online payment of balance amount due on her. Hence, now dues as on 30.06.2020 is nil against her,” a spokesperson for the ministry of housing and urban affairs said.
The ministry has also said that she had accumulated dues of RS 3,46,677 till 30th June.
The directorate of estate department of the ministry had issued a notice to her to vacate her house within a month.
“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 68 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 01.08.2020 is allowed as per rule,” the letter sent by the ministry said.
“Any stay beyond 01.08.2020 will attract damage charges/penal rent as per rules,” it added.
According to the current norms, there are no provisions for allotment or retention of government retention unless exceptions are made based on recommendations given by the Union home ministry.
“In view of this, she is no longer entitled for Government accommodation and her allotment has been cancelled by the Directorate of Estate,” the spokesperson of the ministry of housing and urban affairs added
Gandhi was allotted bungalow 35, Lodhi Estate on February 21, 1997 on security ground as an SPG protectee.
“Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) in its meeting held on 07.12.2000 reviewed the guidelines on allotment of Government accommodation on security ground and decided that in future no private person, other than those who are SPG protectees, shall be given Government accommodation on security ground. Such allotments were to be done at the market rate i.e. 50 times of normal rent,” the official said.
However, the decision to modify the rules was formally taken by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2015.
Congress chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh has protested the move and urged Centre to revoke the order.
“Captain Amrinder Singh takes exception to orders asking Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi to vacate govt house, urges Centre to restore her SPG cover and revoke allotment cancellation on security grounds in view of threat perception to Gandhi family,” the Punjab Chief minister’s office said.
“Blind hatred and a sense of vengeance with the Congress leadership is evident by the BJP and Modi government… The notice to clear Priyanka’s house shows the uneasiness of Modi ji-Yogi ji. We are not afraid of the frustrated decisions of the authoritarian government,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.