Centre asks Harsimrat Kaur Badal to vacate Safdarjung Road bungalow


Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) lawmaker Harsimrat Kaur Badal will move into a new accommodation at Lodhi Estate in New Delhi after the Centre asked her to vacate her Safdarjung Road bungalow, which has been with the Badal family for nearly 25 years, people familiar with the development said.

The directorate of estates (DoE) under the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) has allotted the 12, Safdarjung Road bungalow to Kapil Moreshwar Patil, the Union minister of state (MoS) for panchayati raj, a ministry official said.

“The bungalow she (Badal) is currently staying at is a Type VIII bungalow that is allotted to cabinet ministers and others,” said a senior official from the ministry, requesting anonymity. “Now, she has been given a type VII bungalow at 76, Lodhi Estate, as per the norms.”

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a former Union minister, took the technical possession of the new accommodation on Tuesday and will move in after the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) completes the repair work, which is likely to start soon, another official familiar with the development said.

The Safdarjung Road bungalow was allotted to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, Harsimrat’s husband, in 1998 when he was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government. It was allotted to Harsimrat in 2009 after she became a Lok Sabha MP from Bathinda in Punjab by the then UPA government.

Two-term former minister Harsimrat Kaur held the food processing industries portfolio in both terms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government. She retained the accommodation at Safdarjung Road even after her party parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party, an old ally, and she quit as the minister in September 2020 after protests over the now-repealed three farm laws.

“She has accepted the accommodation and will move after getting the repairs done,” said an official, wishing not to be named.

When contacted, her office refused to comment.

The Bathinda MP was offered the new accommodation earlier this month, said officials familiar with the matter.

While the Union government is making several MPs and former lawmakers vacate or move their accommodation as per the rules, former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has been allowed to continue at his present accommodation at 5, South Avenue Lane even after his term as the Rajya Sabha member ended in February 2021.

Last year, Azad who has Z-plus security approached the Rajya Sabha secretariat for an extension to retain the accommodation for some time. When contacted, Azad’s office refused to comment.

Since last year, the DoE has been trying to streamline the allotment process to ensure MPs, especially cabinet ministers, are provided accommodation as per the norms. This is part of the Union government’s move to evict all former ministers and other allottees who have overstayed at their official accommodations.

In March, the Centre initiated action to evict the family of former Union minister and leader of Lok Janshakti Party, an NDA ally, late Ram Vilas Paswan from their 12, Janpath bungalow, where the family had stayed for over three decades.

The bungalow has been allotted to former President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

Earlier this year, Ram Shankar Katheria (BJP MP from Etawah and former minister of state for education in the first Modi government till 2016) was made to vacate his 7, Moti Lal Nehru Marg bungalow after his term as chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes ended in 2020.

PC Sarangi, (BJP MP from Balasore in Odisha and former MoS for animal husbandry and MSME), who resigned from the government ahead of the cabinet reshuffle last year, was made to vacate the official accommodation at 10, Pandit Pant Marg on March 29, on March 31.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)