Hours after being asked to vacate her Lodhi Estate bungalow by August 1, Priyanka Gandhi has reportedly cleared all dues. Gandhi whose Special Protection Group (SPG) cover had been withdrawn if favour of Z-plus security by the CRPF in November last year is no longer eligible for the same.
The notice sent by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry had asked Gandhi to leave by August 1, as her allotment was now cancelled. As per the notice, she had one month as a "concessional period on the same rent". Failure to leave within the stipulated time would incur penalties, the notice had warned.
As per a Hindustan Times report, Gandhi has now paid all dues associated with the same, till June 30. The report quoted a spokesperson for the Ministry to verify the same. Reportedly, she had had an accumulated amount of Rs. 3,46,677 due.
According to the spokesperson, Gandhi had made online payment, and there was no amount due till the end of June now.
Incidentally, according to an official, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was paying around Rs 37,000 per month as a rent.
An official said that the Congress general secretary, who is in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, had been allotted the bungalow on February 21, 1997 as she was an SPG protectee.
The Z-plus security does not entail such a facility and she has to vacate 35 Lodhi Estate bungalow, the official said. The Congress had reacted sharply to the withdrawal of SPG cover to the Gandhi family and had even raised the issue in Parliament.
Speaking on Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that the order should be withdrawn. "Any compromise on Priyanka's safety could be construed as a political witch-hunt, especially when these orders have come at a time when she has been strongly and unrelentingly criticising the handling of the COVID crisis in Uttar Pradesh, especially the prime minister's parliamentary constituency of Varanasi," the chief minister had said.
(With inputs from agencies)