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AAP, Centre face off again: This time, over land for party office, ministry cites CPM case

The AAP does not qualify as a national party, a pre-requisite to be entitled to land allotment by the Central ministry.

New Delhi |
February 6, 2014 2:15:10 am

The Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are at loggerheads again, this time over the allotment of land to the latter in Delhi. The AAP wants the land to construct their party headquarters.

The Urban Development (UD) Ministry has reportedly put on hold the AAP’s demand for a plot of land in Delhi citing the example of Communist Party of India (Marxist), a national political party which runs from private premises in Central Delhi, an official said.

The AAP, which does not have any share in the Lok Sabha yet, does not qualify as a national party, a pre-requisite to be entitled to land allotment by the Central ministry. The AAP, which bagged 28 seats in the Assembly elections, has qualified as a regional party by virtue of both the number of seats won and the share in the overall voting percentage. As such, it was eligible only for office space, the official explained.

“Even the CPM has not been allotted land in this manner. Until the time the AAP becomes eligible as a national political party, we cannot promise anything to it,” a senior ministry official said.

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“No allotment of land for the party has been made as of now. Whatever we have demanded is in accordance with existing norms,” Sanjeev Sharma, a senior AAP functionary, said.

In an e-mail to the Land and Development Office (L&DO), which works under the UD ministry, AAP has informed the authorities that “they would like to avail the facility now” and asked the L&DO to elaborate the procedure involved in the allotment of land.

The AAP party office presently runs from a two-storeyed building on 41, Hanuman Road, which it had taken on a monthly rent of Re 1. The house reportedly belongs to an NRI.

“First, they are not eligible for a land and, second, there is no free land available with us as of now,” the ministry official said.

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