India

It Happens Only in India: Caretaker Prime Minister Gets Bungalow-number Changed for Superstitions!

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

It refers to RTI response which confirms that office of the then caretaker Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee got changed municipal-number of allotted government-bungalow for superstitions like numerology etc. The then Additional secretary Ashok Saikia at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) after NDA government losing Lok Sabha elections in 2004 got bungalow-number at Krishna Menon Marg (New Delhi) from 8 to 6-A in a short period of Atal Bihari Vajpayee continuing as caretaker Prime Minister as his post-retirement residence after demitting office of Prime Minister. Interestingly originally it was required to get the bungalow-number changed from 8 to ‘lucky’ 7-A. But ‘7-A’ was over-written as ‘6-A’ in the request-letter perhaps after realising that Leyton’s zone of New Delhi has a system of even numbers of bungalows on one side of the road, while those with odd numbers on other side of the road.

RTI response also confirms that there are no rules and guidelines for such arbitrary change of government-bungalows for personal choice of occupants. Enquiry should be made how such number-change could be affected that too at a supersonic speed in just couple of days with file moving between PMO and Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in a manner that the change could be affected before new government taking charge. This is obviously misuse of position for personal wishes of a caretaker Prime Minister. Can house-number of an ordinary individual be also changed only for his/her personal choice? Concerned ones at PMO, MoUD and New Delhi Municipal Council should take immediate corrective steps for restoring bungalow-number from 6-A back to 8 at Krishna Menon Marg (New Delhi).

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