Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday dismissed as “fake news” that she had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow her to continue living in the Lutyens’ Delhi bungalow that she has been ordered to vacate.
The government had issued notice to her to vacate the Lodhi Estate bungalow in a month as she no longer was an SPG protectee. After a news outlet reported that the Prime Minister had “allowed” her “request”, Priyanka tweeted: “This is FAKE NEWS. 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.”
This prompted a sharp reaction from Union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, who said in a tweet: “Facts speak for themselves! A powerful Congress leader with much clout in the Party called me on 4 July 2020 at 12:05pm to request that 35, Lodhi Estate be allotted to another Congress MP so that Priyanka Vadra can stay on. Let’s not sensationalise everything please.”
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra File picture
Priyanka responded by saying: “If someone called you Mr Puri, I thank them for their concern, and thank you for your consideration as well but it still does not change the facts: I have made no such request, and I am making no such request. As I said, I will be vacating the house by the 1st of August as required in the eviction letter.”
The verbal duel continued with Puri replying: “The leader who called me, & many others, is at the very top of the Congress hierarchy... the same political adviser who speaks and acts on your family’s behalf. It was when he requested that we decided to give a two-month extension in good faith. Would only request you to first sort out these issues within your own party before venting in public. Streak of entitlement & playing victim don’t go well together.”
Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala tweeted: “Dear Mr Puri, Priyankaji fights for the cause of people and needs no favours from your ilk. So stop bragging unwarrantedly. The issue is closed. And so that all know, did you allot 35, Lodhi Estate to a Congress MP or BJP Spokesperson? So please stop sensationalising your lies.”
The Lodhi Estate bungalow has been allotted to BJP media cell chief Anil Baluni.
The report Priyanka referred to had suggested that the Prime Minister had acted like a “statesman” and allowed the Congress leader to continue living in the Lodhi Estate house.