House hunt on for outgoing PM

With the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh nearing an end, officials from the Union Ministry of Urban Development have started searching for his post-retirement home in the national capital’s Lutyens zone.

The prime minister and his wife Gursharan Kaur took a detailed tour of two bungalows - 3, Motilal Nehru Place and 5, Janpath - on Sunday.

The former bungalow, occupied by Sheila Dikshit when she was Delhi chief minister, is on a 3.5-acre plot and well maintained with exclusive visitors and security staff offices. The other bungalow has been lying vacant for quite some time.

During the visit, officials from the Delhi Police, the Central Public Works Department, the Urban Development Ministry and the Special Protection Group (SPG) accompanied the prime minister and his wife. Though the final pick is yet to be made, sources indicated that Singh may opt for the Motilal Nehru Place bungalow.

Former prime ministers and their families are entitled to government accommodation and SPG protection.

Singh will vacate 7, Race Course Road, the official residence of the prime minister, by June as he has already withdrawn from the race for prime minister for a third term, said sources. If Singh finalised his post-retirement house at the earliest, the new prime minister will not have to wait long to occupy the official residence.

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