The Public Works Department (PWD) of the Delhi government has asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to pay over Rs 27 lakh rent for “illegally occupying” the building that serves as its office space.
Government sources said the allotment of the space to AAP has been cancelled by Lt Governor Anil Baijal. The notice sent by the PWD demands a payment of Rs 27,74,802. A source said, “This is 65 times the licence fee. It will keep increasing until the party vacates the office in Rouse Avenue.”
In April, the PWD had sent a notice to CM Arvind Kejriwal, the convenor of AAP, asking him to vacate the party office immediately as the allotment was in violation of rules. The alleged irregularities, on the basis of which the allotment of the office is under question, were flagged of by a committee set up by former L-G Najeeb Jung.
As per a notification by the Union Ministry of Urban Development, cited by the AAP government, a party with a “strength of MPs upto 15” can be allotted up to “500 sqm”. The notification also states, “In the case of Delhi state units of various national/state-recognised parties, land up to 500 sqm would be considered for two categories — state units of national parties and state units of state recognised parties.”
The AAP said the party would explore legal options, since other political parties had similarly been allotted bungalows to use as office space. The allotment for the party office was cleared in 2015 by the AAP government.