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National

Cong Faces Eviction from 24 Akbar Road

August 05, 2020 08:00 AM

COURTESY THE ET AUG 5

Cong Faces Eviction from 24 Akbar Road
Proposal sent to CCA to evict party from its headquarters and 3 prime addresses
Nidhi.Sharma@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

After evicting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from her Lodhi Estate government bungalow, a move is afoot to remove the Congress from four Lutyens bungalows, including its 24 Akbar Road party headquarters.


The Directorate of Estates, under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has resurrected a two-year-old proposal to evict the Congress from the four prime properties: 24 Akbar Road (which houses the All India Congress Committee headquarters since 1976), 26 Akbar Road (Congress’ Seva Dal office), 5 Raisina Road (Indian Youth Congress office) and CII/109 Chanakyapuri.

The directorate had first moved this proposal in 2018 and it had come before the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) in March 2019. This was five months after the extension for 24 Akbar Road had also run out. According to people in the know, the Modi government did not take a final call right ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections. Now, the directorate has moved a fresh proposal.

A senior ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told ET: “It is time to address this issue. The Congress had been allotted institutional land in 2010 for constructing its party office. The rules clearly say that a party gets three years to build an office and then vacate the properties given to it. They had to vacate these seven years back.”

The eviction proceedings had first been initiated by the government in January 2015.


Was Required to Vacate Properties in ’13

According to the rules to allot government accommodation from the general pool to national and state-level political parties, a party is given three years to construct its own office, after which the building has to be vacated. The Congress was allotted land in June 2010 on 9-A Rouse Avenue to build a party office. As per government policy, the party was required to vacate four bungalows leased to it by June 2013.

In 2018, the Congress had sought extension of the lease of 24 Akbar Road that had run out in October that year, people aware of the development said. The Centre could also consider immediate eviction of the party from the other three properties (26 Akbar Road, 5 Raisina Road and CII/109) and giving more time for 24 Akbar Road.

“The party headquarters are under construction. It could be that the CCA may decide on immediate eviction from three properties,” said the official, adding: “It is a part of the government’s exercise to rationalise the use of bungalows in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone

 
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