Landing fuel to a new controversy about the construction of the house by UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the BJP legislator Mr. Suresh Bhardwaj today shot a letter to the Union Home minister Mr. Rajnath Singh to cancel the special permission of the construction near Rashtrapati Niwas at The Retreat at Charabra.
One page letter written by the senior lawyer turned politician alleged that “Retreat” is the official summer residence of President of India in Shimla where even the Prime Minister of India and other top dignitaries stay during their visit to Shimla.
He further said that Mrs. Vadra was constructing house beneath the ‘Kalyani’ Helipad which is used exclusively by the Indian Air Force for these VVIPs and for other security sorties. For security reasons no construction is allowed in the vicinity of either the ‘Retreat’ or “Kalyani’ helipad. He said that now Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is constructing a house in this area which has put security of his the President of India, Prime Minister and other dignitaries at stake.
BJP leader said that earlier Devinderjeet Singh, a retired senior naval officer purchased about 16 Biswas of land near the ‘Retreat’ in village Chharabra Tehsil and District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. Mr. Bhardwaj alleged that Mr. Singh who had been served in the Indian Navy had submitted an application for seeking permission for construction of similar cottage but he was denied on keeping security issues in mind as it as hyper sensitive area. The former BJP president said that DGP advised the State Government not to permit the construction from security point of view on the said land earlier.
The Under Secretary (EAB) of the President’s Secretariat sent a communication to state on Nov 11, 2004 that responsibility for the security of President of India when the President at the Retreat Shimla to be given by the state Government therefore it should give a considered opinion in the matter.
“Also directing the State that it may follow in granting such permission and after taking due consideration some embargo may have to be placed by notifying certain areas 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.” President Secretariat maintained in the communication.
BJP leader also said that due to ban of construction in this area, people were forced to sell their land at throw away prices. However, taking the advantage of her family status, Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra managed to get permission in the said High Security Zone/Area and the security considerations of the Honourable President of India were put at stake/compromised, he added.
It is important to mention here that Mrs. Vadra got the permission of raising the house and buying land from Noval commodore after waiving off section 118 of HP land and tenancy act 1971 during the Dhumal rule.