Race for office gets hotter than MPs' house-hunt

Race for office gets hotter than MPs' house-hunt

Compared to the race for being allocated houses at prime locations in Lutyen’s Delhi among newly elected Parliamentarians, getting office space for political parties in Parliament House appears to be hotter.

Increase in numerical strength in the Lok Sabha may not translate into bigger, ground floor rooms for political parties in Parliament House.

Regional parties AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, BJD and Shiv Sena have reaped a rich harvest in the recent Lok Sabha elections and have started scouting for bigger office spaces in Parliament complex.

Parliament sources said the Lok Sabha secretariat has received letters from the AIADMK and the Trinamool Congress for allocation of bigger office spaces that can accommodate its MPs.

The AIADMK and Trinamool Congress, who have 37 and 34 members in the Lok Sabha respectively, currently have offices on the third floor of Parliament House. The AIADMK has 10 members in the Rajya Sabha while Trinamool has 12.

The premium office space on the ground floor with easy access to either of the Houses of Parliament is occupied by BJP, Congress, JD(U) and DMK. With JD(U) and DMK being trounced in the Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabha secretariat officials hope that they would vacate their offices without any fuss.

TDP had not vacated its office during the previous Lok Sabha despite its dwindled numbers. In the new Lok Sabha, it has 16 members, while in the Upper House it has six.

Shiv Sena, which has 18 members in the Lok Sabha, too is eyeing office space on the ground floor, particularly the room currently occupied by the JD(U) which is very close to the Central Hall. Union Minister Anant Geete, a Sena member, has his office next door. Currently, the Sena Parliamentary Party office is on the third floor.

“The LS secretariat will take care of this. But parties now in opposition should realise that their number has shrunk and those who have more MPs would need bigger rooms. They cannot just say that since they have held a room for years they will not vacate,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.

Currently, rooms have been allocated to 16 political parties and two of them – DMK and BSP – do not have a single member in the Lok Sabha.