In a major embarrassment for the Congress and Priyanka Vadra, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has revealed that many top Congress leaders were trying to impress upon the Modi government to allow Priyanka Vadra stay on at the Lutyens bungalow for some more time. While in public, Priyanka Vadra and the Congress had claimed that she would be vacating the bungalow by August 1st, these revelations of trying to stay on at the bungalow has caused huge loss of face for the Vadra's and the Congress.
On July 1, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had issued an eviction notice to Priyanka Vadra asking her to vacate her government accommodation at 35, Lodhi Estate before August 1. The Congress had created a huge hue and cry over the issue accusing Modi government of vendetta against the Vadra clan, neglecting the fact that Priyanka Vadra had over stayed at the bungalow after the SPG protection was withdrawn by the MHA.
However, earlier today a news item on Outlook India claimed
that PM Modi heeded to a request to allow Priyanka Vadra to stay on in Lutyens bungalow for some time. The news item did not specifically say who requested PM Modi to let Priyanka Vadra stay at the bungalow but claimed that 'After the government directive to vacate the prime Lutyens real estate property in Lodi Estate, the Centre was approached to allow Priyanka Gandhi to stay there for some more time', said the item. 'Sources close to developments revealed that when the matter was brought to Modi's notice, he said that her request most certainly be accepted', indicating that the Modi government had agreed to allow Priyanka Vadra stay at the bungalow for some more time.
Stung by the report, Priyanka Vadra retorted with a pointed tweet. '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", she tweeted.
In response to her tweet, Hardeep Singh Puri responded saying that a 'powerful Congress leader' with much clout in the Party called him on July 4 and requested the Lodhi Estate be allotted to another INC MP so that Priyanka Vadra can stay on. His tweet hinted if the government agreed to allot the bungalow to another Congress MP, he would in turn allow Priyanka Vadra stay on.
" Facts speak for themselves! A powerful Congress leader with much clout in the Party called me on 4 July 2020 at 12:05 pm to request that 35, Lodhi Estate be allotted to another INC MP so that Priyanka Vadra can stay on. Let’s not sensationalise everything please", he tweeted. Priyanka replied to his tweet and said "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".
Puri then said that many Congress leaders had called him to request the same and one was at the very top of the Congress hierarchy, 'the same political advisor who speaks and acts on your family’s behalf'. "The leader who called me, & many others, is at the very top of the Congress hierarchy...the same political advisor 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", he tweeted indicating that the government had agreed to extend the duration of her stay at the bungalow by two more months.
Asking Priyanka Vadra not to play the victim card or display their sense of entitlement tweeted, "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".
Hardeep Singh Puri's revelations have caused a major embarrassment to the Congress and Priyanka Vadra who on one hand claimed that they were victims of government vendetta and behind the doors tried everything to impress the government to allow her to stay at the bungalow.