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Take your time to shift, PM to Vajpayee
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | May 26, 2004 21:24 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee that he can take as much time as he wants to shift from Race Course Road to his new 8, Krishna Menon Marg residence in New Delhi.
According to Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Prakash Javdekar, Vajpayee has started moving his belongings from Race Course Road, where he lived as PM.
"If things go according to plan, Vajpayeeji should be able to move into his new residence by mid-June," he told rediff.com
On Wednesday the curator of the National Gallery of Modern Arts removed a number of paintings -- ones by Durga Gujaral and N Amin -- in full view of cameramen and journalists.
"Our Prime Minister, Dr Singh, is a benevolent man. He will not tell Vajpayee to hurry up. The bungalows will be painted only after the incumbent leaves," Congress leader Tom Waddakan said.
The PM's residence-cum-office consists of four bungalows -- 3,5,7 and 9.
Dr Singh has already started using 7, Race Course Road to hold official meetings.
The Special Protection Group is stationed at 9, Race Course Road.
Bungalow 5 has been converted into a guesthouse to host the PM's guests.
Bungalow 3 is where the PM actually stays.
The whole area is spread over 12 acres of land.
Manmohan Singh's wife, Gursharan Kaur, has visited Race Course Road a couple of times to familiarise herself with the place.
Race Course Road became the PM's address after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 at her 1, Safdarjung Road residence.
Rajiv Gandhi was the first PM to stay at Race Course Road while 1, Safdarjung Road was converted into a memorial.
There are a host of security issues at Race Course Road as there are a lot of establishments and buildings nearby.
On the one side are Samrat Hotel, Ashoka Hotel and state guesthouses and on the other is the Delhi Gymkhana Club.
Bang in front is the Delhi Race Course.
The Intelligence Bureau has taken over almost all the rooms of Samrat Hotel that overlook the PM's residence.
Watchtowers have been erected inside DGC, of which the country's most senior politicians, bureaucrats and defence personnel are members.
There are a lot of people working at DGC who live in its premises. The club has now been asked to shift them somewhere else and in a year or two that activity should be over.