The controversy over Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s residence in Lutyens Delhi has snowballed into a major political controversy on the social media. A report in a news agency claimed that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had sought an extension and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his approval, the Congress leader on Tuesday denied making any such request.
Following this, Urban Development Hardeep Puri, who is in-charge of Lutyens Bungalow Zone allocations and extensions, tweeted on Tuesday: “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, Lodi Estate be allotted to another INC MP so that Priyanka Vadra can stay on. Let’s not sensationalise everything please.”
With Priyanka continuing to live in denial, Puri almost revealed the identity of the Congress leader who made the request. Even as this was happening, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani jumped into the fray in defence of the minister. She tweeted: “Facts and CONgress can never go ‘hand’ in ‘hand’… The ‘fact’ that a notice had to be served and dues were not paid speaks for itself…The Congress leader called you Hardeep Puriji coz high command ka order hai.”
But when Priyanka continued to raise questions, Puri tweeted: “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.”
“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.”
This came after Priyanka reacted to an earlier tweet which had called her bluff: “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…”
With tweets by Puri and Irani, it was clear to all who had made the call to the minister.