Priyanka caught in rent row

Priyanka caught in rent row

Priyanka caught in rent row

Caught in a controversy over getting government accommodation at concessional rate, Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday made it clear that the rent for her Lutyen’s bungalow was fixed during the Vajpayee era.

In a rare statement, Priyanka’s office said it was a letter by media baron Ashwani Kumar (Minna), now a BJP MP, to the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that led to the reduction of the rent for the government accommodation provided individual for security reasons.

Priyanka, who is guarded by the elite Special Protection Group, said she had rented the private accommodation for her residence and paid the  advance rent for the same in December 1996.However, the SPG did not approve of it as it did not fulfil the security requirements and directed to look for government occupation.

A controversy broke out on Saturday after a media report claimed that she had bargained over the rent of the government bungalow that was reduced from Rs 53,421 per month to Rs 8,888 per month.

Congress leaders hit out at the Modi government for letting out details about the residence of a SPG protectee, while BJP leaders claimed that she sought concessions despite her ability to pay the high rent in a posh locality.

Apart from Priyanka, three other “private citizens”—former Punjab DGP KPS Gill, former Youth Congress president M S Bitta and Punjab Kesari Editor Ashwani Kumar (Minna)—were provided government accommodation on security grounds.

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