New Delhi: With four bungalows and three plots at prominent addresses in the Capital, the Congress has been the biggest beneficiary of the government’s real estate largesse to political parties.
The Urban Development Ministry has allocated land, bungalows and suites in Vithal Bhai Patel House to 18 political parties for converting them into office spaces.
While the Congress has four bungalows on 5 Raisina Road, 26 Akbar Road, C-II/109 Chanakyapuri and 24 Akbar Road, it was given a plot on Kotla Road (in 2007) to construct a new party office.
A plot that was allotted on Dr. R P Road (in 1975-76) has been used for the Jawahar Bhawan Trust. The party’s Delhi unit has been given land on Rouse Avenue. The Congress also has nine suites in Vithal Bhai Patel House.
“Under the rules, a party recognised by the Election Commission is allowed to retain one housing unit from the General Pool of accommodation for office use on payment of rent. They are allowed to retain the premises for three years, during which the party is required to acquire land to construct its office premises. The Congress has sought additional time till 2015 to construct its new office,” an official of the Ministry said.
The ruling BJP was allotted land only in August 2014 and its Delhi unit in November 2014. The party also has two bungalows on 14 Pandit Pant Marg and 11 Ashoka Road, besides eight suites in Vithal Bhai Patel House.
Parties with more than 200 members in both Houses of Parliament are entitled to eight single room suites in Vithal Bhai Patel House to accommodate staff assisting with parliamentary work. The strength in Parliament decides the number of suites allotted.
Among the other parties allotted land are the CPI, which was given land in 1967 on Kotla Road. The CPI(M) has constructed an office on Market Road after the plots were allotted in 1983. It got two more plots on Kotla Road and Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg in 2014.
The RJD has constructed an office on the Kotla Road plots allotted in 2007. The Samajwadi Party was allotted land in Vasant Kunj, but the High Court has stayed construction.
The JD-U was allotted land in Vasant Vihar in 2010, but construction was stayed by a court. The DMK and the Trinamool Congress have been allotted land on Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The BSP, NCP, SP and the CPI have a bungalow each allotted to party officials.