The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) Thursday allotted a Type VIII bungalow on Motilal Nehru Marg in Lutyens’ Delhi to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has already announced his retirement.
Since Singh is a sitting Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, the government was able to allot the type VIII bungalow to him. There is no provision to provide such a sprawling house to a former PM if he has not been elected from either of the two Houses.
While there are defined rules that a President or vice-president of the country is entitled to a Type VII or VIII bungalow post-retirement, no such rule exists for former PMs. To end this disparity, the government is in the process of framing new guidelines. Though the ministry planned to bring it before the Cabinet, a final proposal could not be made.
Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath Thursday cleared the allocation of the bungalow, which was once home to former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur would be entitled to occupy the house for their lifetime.
“The present guidelines are silent on the kind of bungalows to be allotted to former PMs. If presidents are allotted Type VII or Type VIII, the same rules shall be applied to former PMs, too. If the retired PM is not a member of Parliament from either of the two Houses, then he is not entitled to any such bungalow. We are trying to bring both the posts on a par,” said a senior ministry official.
The 3, Motilal Nehru Marg bungalow, spread over 2.5 acres, was finalised after Singh and his wife gave a nod to it. “There were couple of other bungalows shown to them but they settled for this one. The PM and his family are expected to shift here once the new Parliament has been formed,” said the official.