National

BJP moves to new headquarters

The BJP has moved to its new national headquarters on Deendayal Upadhyay Marg, from the 11 Ashoka Road address in the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the office on Sunday.

Lutyens’ Delhi is often used as a pejorative term to denote an elite out of touch with ground realities.

Therefore, the branding potential of the move is immense.

Two days after the inaugural, space was being allotted in the 70-room building to various office-bearers. Party president Amit Shah will occupy the all-important fifth floor of the building.

Patchy connectivity

The move has been swift but like all shifts has had its moments of confusion. For example, telephone networks are patchy in the new building and there is talk that “boosters” will be installed to improve connectivity. Televisions too have not been installed yet, as spokesperson Sambit Patra discovered on Tuesday afternoon, after giving a television “bite” on the Aam Aadmi Party-IAS association spat.

He wanted to check how many channels had run the statement, but could not find a TV set anywhere.

The all-important task of who runs the office canteen has already been resolved. “The contract has been given to Bittu Tikki Wala, a well-known name,” an office-bearer said.

Motivating other parties

On one issue, however, there was general satisfaction, that the move would now motivate other political parties allotted land to build their headquarters on Deendayal Upadhyay Marg to do so.

The allotments were done after the Supreme Court, on the basis of a PIL petition, asked political parties to shift out of the zone, which is for residential purposes, and move to Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg, earmarked for institutional land.

“The Congress plot is next door and the AAP office is on the other side of the road. If they raise any protest march, they will be effectively sealing the traffic outside their own offices,” said a leader with a chuckle, perhaps remembering the many marches take out by the Opposition on Ashoka Road.

The BJP is clear that the 11 Ashoka Road bungalow will be surrendered to the Central Public Works Department housing pool and the ruling party will not use its clout to have it allotted to any of its affiliated organisations.

“This bungalow will become a ministerial residence again. We believe in neither pseudo-secularism nor pseudo allotments,” said a senior general secretary in charge of the move.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 4:48:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-headquarters-has-a-new-address/article22807937.ece

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