After LS setback, RaGa asked to vacate Lutyens’ Delhi bungalow

The Lok Sabha secretariat asked the disqualified Wayanad lawmaker to vacate the government bungalow situated at Tughlak Lane in Lutyens’ Delhi before April 23.

New Delhi | Updated: 27 March, 2023 8:26 pm IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

Days after his disqualification as Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been asked to vacate the official residence allocated to him in a posh New Delhi neighbourhood by next month.

In a notification, the Lok Sabha secretariat asked the disqualified Wayanad lawmaker to vacate the government bungalow situated at Tughlak Lane in Lutyens’ Delhi before April 23, citing his disqualification.

Gandhi was disqualified by the Lok Sabha on March 23 following his conviction by a lower court in Surat in a criminal defamation case filed by a Gujarat BJP leader over his “all Modi thieves” remark made during the 2019 general elections.

“Consequent upon your disqualification… I am directed to state that you are allowed to retain Bungalow No. 12, Tughlak Lane along with its units, in which you have continued to stay as your regular accommodation in the capacity of Member of 17th Lok Sabha, for a maximum period of one month i.e. upto 22.04.2023, on the similar terms and conditions as were applicable as a Member immediately before your disqualification from your seat in Lok Sabha,” reads the letter sent to Gandhi.

“The allotment of the aforesaid accommodation shall deem to have been cancelled w.e.f. 23.04.2023,” said the letter, sent by the Lok Sabha deputy secretary.

Allocated to him on security grounds, the date to vacate the property was earlier extended by the government when he was an MP. With the extension period coming to an end, the government has now asked him to vacate the property.

The bungalow at Tughlak Lane has been one of the most sought-after addresses in Delhi and is considered a symbol of political power and influence. It has been the official residence of several prominent political leaders over the years, including former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Manmohan Singh.

The decision led to a controversy, with Opposition Congress accusing the Central government of playing “vindictive politics” and targeting the Gandhi family which ruled India for decades.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has criticized the move, calling it a “vindictive politics” by the BJP-led government. He said that the Gandhi scion was allotted the bungalow due to security concerns and he remains entitled to retain it.

In defence, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the decision was taken in accordance with the law. The government has always been transparent in its functions, and the decision to ask Rahul Gandhi to vacate the property was no exception.

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