Rules bent for construction of Priyanka’s house in Shimla, alleges Suresh Bhardwaj

‘Earlier request for permission to build in area denied, why should rule be different for Priyanka?’ 

SHIMLA- Seeking immediate withdrawal of permission for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to construct house in the vicinity of Retreat, the official summer residence of The President of India, on security considerations, Shimla legislature Suresh Bhardwaj has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and demanded to revoke the permission.

Bhardwaj, in his letter, demanded the Home Minister to re-examine the permission as other persons were denied permission on security considerations. Shimla MLA apprised the Minister that for security reasons, construction isn’t allowed in the vicinity of the ‘Retreat’, but rules were bent for Congress president daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Suresh Bhardwaj, former MP (Rajya Sabha) wrote that earlier a retired Naval Officer had purchased the land near the ‘Retreat’ and sought permission from the state government to construct a cottages, which was denied by the authority on the ground of security of the President.

Applicant even given representation to Chief Secretary of the state of Himachal Pradesh in August 2004, and further Govt of Himachal Pradesh sent a communication to the secretary to the President of India in October 2004, enclosing the earlier correspondence, and in its communication to the Principal Secretary (Home) to the Government of HP, the Under Secretary (EAB) of the President’s Secretariat suggested not to allow construction around the “Retreat.” The communication read

With reference to your No. Home-(A)-E-(3)-42/2003-II dated 12.10.2004, I am directed to state that the responsibility for the security of President of India when the President is at the Retreat/Shimla is that of the State Government and the state Government should give a considered opinion in the matter. However, in terms of the long-term perspective and consequences that may follow in granting such a permission and after taking due consideration some embargo may have to be placed by notifying certain area surrounding the Retreat as ‘No Construction Zone’. Otherwise, the possibility of other such demands snowballing on the strength of the present precedent cannot be ruled out.

Even the Inspector General Of Police (CID) Himachal Pradesh informed the Principal Secretary (Home) in November, 2004 to keep the land free from any kind of construction as it’s having the common boundary with ‘The Retreat Estate’ and the same was in very close proximity.

However, all rules and recommendations of the government were bent for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and was given permission to construct a huge house adjoining the same place, where senior retired Naval Officer was earlier refused permission for security reasons.

Bhardwaj claimed that one of the reason for the permission was SPG protectee, which he termed ridicules as he believe that SPG protectee can also indulge in unlawful or terrorist activities, and examples of PV Narsumha Rao and his son PV Prabhakar Rao, both SPG Protectee – convicted in JMM Bribery case and Rs 133 Crore Urea Scam, probes that.

Shimla legislature said,

Being an SPG Protectee is not a permanent status. It is only for one year after a Prime Minister demits office (SPG Act of 2003 (Amended)). Shri Robert Vadra, husband of Smt. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is already under cloud for various fraudulent land deals.

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