Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (pictured) handed over 35, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The bungalow was allotted to her because she was entitled to security cover by the Special Protection Group (SPG). Though Parliament amended the SPG Act last December, Vadra continued to live in the bungalow until she got eviction notice. The Congress on Thursday said the CPWD officials did a “full inspection” and that the house was handed over in good condition. Vadra will live in a rented accommodation until a more permanent one in Delhi ― to be rented by her ― is ready for use. According to party sources, Vadra is renting a luxurious apartment in Gurgaon, which has left many baffled because there were plans of her living in Lucknow as she is in charge of the Congress affairs in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Creating space for RS TV
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday “expressed displeasure” at the delay in handing over an 8,700 square metre plot in R K Puram, New Delhi, allotted to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat in 2003. In a meeting with officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, ministries, and the Delhi government to review the status, Naidu asked them to take urgent action to get the land cleared of encroachment. Naidu, said an official note, is keen that the land is used for constructing the Rajya Sabha (RS) TV office and residential quarters for the staff of the Secretariat, which would lead to substantial savings for the exchequer. He said the RS TV used to pay an annual rent of Rs 30 crore, which is now reduced to Rs 15 crore after he took up the matter with the New Delhi Municipal Council. Even this could be saved, he said. He added the Rajya Sabha spent Rs 1.25 crore on the land and relocating the shanties on it.
Start from the family
Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday addressed the party’s 40 Rajya Sabha members. After touching upon the issues of Chinese incursion and economic distress, she turned to the crisis in Rajasthan. She said it was not enough to hold press conferences in New Delhi to tell people how democracy was being murdered in the state, but advised all to take the issue to every state. Some murmured she should also advise her son and party leader Rahul Gandhi to be more active in addressing press conferences and meeting people instead of spending time on Twitter.