The AAP today welcomed the Delhi High Court’s order of setting aside the Lt Governor order of cancelling the allotment of a bungalow to the party, and said this should serve as a “laxman rekha” for the BJP. AAP leader Raghav Chadha said the decision by Lt Governor Anil Baijal to cancel the allotment of a bungalow at Rouse Avenue in Central Delhi to the party, which is being used for as an office, was unfortunate and against democratic principles and law. He said while the Congress has five offices and a land alloted to it in the national capital, the BJP has seven offices. “Even parties like the BSP and the RJD have offices in the national capital, so shouldn’t a party (the AAP) that won 67 seats in Delhi Legislative Assembly have an office in Delhi?” Chadha said. He said that an office has been allocated to the AAP in Punjab, where it is a state party, without even asking for it. “The allotment of party office to the AAP by the Delhi government was not an act of charity, but fulfilment of a rightful claim of a state recognised party, which should have been allotted an office as per rules after 2013 Delhi Assembly elections,” Chadha said. “The high court order should act as a laxman rekha for the BJP and the Centre which have been targeting the AAP government and its party MLAs,” he said.
In its order today, Justice Vibhu Bakhru remanded the matter back to Baijal to pass a reasoned order within eight weeks after hearing the political party. The court said the April 12 order cancelling the allotment did not say which law or rule has been violated. The court also kept in abeyance two consequential orders passed by the Public Works Department of the Delhi government on June 13 rejecting the party’s request for alternative accommodation and directing it to pay dues of over Rs 27 lakh towards the market rent of the property up till May 31.