Did not request for extension / I received requests from Congress: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Hardeep Singh Puri spar over 35 Lodhi Estate

On Tuesday, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra engaged in an altercation on twitter over the latter’s residence in 35 Lodhi Estate. The altercation between the two triggered after Priyanka Gandhi reffered to a media report as “fake news” which claimed that she had “requested” more time to vacate the government bungalow at 35 Lodhi Estate.

“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 said in a tweet.

To this, Hardeep Singh Puri responded saying that he indeed received requests from the Congress. He claimed that one powerful Congress leader requested him to allocate the bungalow to another INC leader so that she could stay on there a little longer.

“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,” Puri tweeted.

However, Priyanka Gandhi was not one to say down either. She quickly retaliated 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.”

As a response to this, Hardeep Singh Puri revealed details about the Congress leader who had allegedly called him on behalf of Mrs. Vadra. He also claimed that on the basis of this request, his government granted an extension of two months to vacate the bungalow.

“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 said.

“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,” he further added.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had last week served a notice on her to vacate the said premises before August 1 as she no longer comes under SPG security cover.

“Consequent to withdrawal of SPG protection and grant of Z+ security cover by MHA, which does not provide for allotment or retention of government accommodation on security grounds to you, the allotment of type 6B house No. 35 Lodhi Estate is hereby cancelled wef July 1. One month concession period on same rent till August 1 is allowed as per rules,” the Housing Ministry notice had said.

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