17 years ago, the Vajpayee government, decided to provide the late PM Rajiv Gandhi’s and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with a type VI government accomodation at 35, Lodhi Estate in the leafy Lutyen’s Delhi.
The monthly rent for her sprawling 2,765.18 sqm house was Rs 53,421 but Priyanka pleased with PM Vajpayee that she could not pay such a high rent and it was reduced to a mere Rs 8,888.
At present, Priyanka pays Rs 33,500 for the Lodhi Estate residence. She was not alone and three other “private citizens”, including former Punjab DGP KPS Gill, All India Anti-Terrorist Front chief M S Bitta and Punjab Kesari editor Ashwani Kumar, were provided accommodation by the government on security grounds. Gill expired, while Bitta and Kumar vacated the accomodation. But Priyanka, her husband Robert and their children continue to stay in the same accomodation as they were SPG protectees.
All that changed a month ago, when the government, following a threat perception review decided to withdraw SPG to the Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka and Manmohan Singh and their immediate family members. As per rules, only Manmohan Singh is entitled to a government accomodation, being a former Prime Minister. Sonia and Rahul are MPs and hence entitled to accomodation as per their seniority in Parliament. But Priyanka Vadra and her family will have to move out of their Lodhi Estate accomodation. That is why all the drama about a security lapse was staged yesterday.
It was not about putting pressure on the NDA government when the bill was being discussed and slated to be passed, yesterday. That the Nehru-Vadra clan knew would be impossible to stop, given that Home Minister Amit Shah was piloting the bill. It was all about the Lodhi Estate residence and hanging on to that status symbol, by hook or crook.
The Vadra’s want to hold on to the Lodhi Estate residence as they will have to find a private accomodation in Delhi and that will be a huge ego issue for them. They will try every trick in the book to try and stay at government expense despite being not entitled to it. Trust the Congress slaves to stage a drama, just to hold on their illegal priveleges.