New Delhi: A foundation in the name of former Deputy Prime Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram and father of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has been allotted a bungalow in the prime Lutyen`s Delhi for 25 years.
The Directorate of Estates under the Urban Development Ministry has recently taken the decision to allot 6, Krishna Menon Marg bungalow, till 2038, according to reply to an RTI filed by S C Agarwal.
The bungalow is adjacent to the bungalow of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Jagjivan Ram lived in this bungalow till his death in 1986. A memorial was built later at the bungalow by a foundation named after Jagjivan Ram.
After becoming the Speaker in 2009, Kumar was allotted bungalow at 20, Akbar Road, where she is presently staying, according to CPWD records.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat said, "It is totally wrong to suggest that the allotment of the Bungalow in question has anything to relate with Smt. Kumar."
It added that the Foundation is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and the allotment has been made to it for the monthly rent of Rs 79,565.
"It is, therefore, out of context and malicious to claim that Smt. Meira Kumar will have any stake in the Bungalow for at least another 25 years," the Secretariat said.
Responding to a media report which said Rs 1.98 crore were waived by the government as rent of the bungalow, the Secretariat said it was "highly mischievous and defamatory, aimed at maligning the reputation of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha."
It said, "There were no dues against the family as they had vacated the premises on time on 30.11.2002. Upon realization of the factual position, the Ministry of Urban Development withdrew the recovery case in December 2011."
Regarding the claim that Kumar occupied the Bungalow before 2009, the Secretariat said, "it is clarified that from 2002 to 2009 Smt. Kumar was staying at her private accommodation."