Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday said a report that said she had requested time beyond August 1 to vacate her government bungalow in Delhi was “fake news”.
“This is FAKE NEWS,” Gandhi tweeted. “I have not made any such request to the government. As per the eviction letter handed to me on the 1st of July, I will be vacating the government accommodation at 35 Lodhi Estate by the 1st of August.”
Gandhi was reacting to an IANS report that claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had allowed her request to keep her government bungalow for some time.
“In a remarkably statesman like move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to a request to allow Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to retain the 35, Lodhi Estate Bungalow for some time,” the report claimed. “Just when people thought there is witch hunt against the erstwhile first family of Indian politics, the PM’’s move once again validated his large heartedness.” The news agency cited “sources” for its information.
A letter issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on July 1 had said Gandhi is no longer entitled to government accommodation after she lost her Special Protection Group security cover. If she stays beyond August 1, she will have to pay a penalty as per the rules, the letter added.
Robert Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, also denied any plans to stay on at the government bungalow after August 1. “This is completely incorrect!! We have not asked for any extension of stay,” he said in a Facebook post. “We were sent a notice on the 1st of July to leave in 30 days. We at a time of ‘Covid’ have packed our entire household, and will leave a week before time.”
In November, the Union government had decided to withdraw the Special Protection Group cover for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children – Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra – and replace it with Z-plus security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force. The SPG, an elite force comprising 3,000 personnel, provides security only to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.