Government tells Congress party to vacate its New Delhi headquarters

The government has asked the Congress party to vacate its headquarters at 24 Akbar Road in the heart of the capital as it has far exceeded the deadline for surrendering the plot.

Director of estates of the urban development ministry today issued a notice to the Indian National Congress stating that it was holding on to the plot for too long and that it should have vacated it in June 2013.

The notice says that after the Congress took possession of the land at 9-A Rouse Avenue on 25 June 2010, it was allowed to keep the "general pool bungalow" in Akbar Road and three others, for an additional three years.

India's oldest political party has been operating out of the Akbar Road headquarters since 1978. The sprawling bungalow is right next to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence.

The allotment stood cancelled as of 26 June 2013, and the Congress is liable to pay "damage rate of licence fee" from that day onwards, the notice stated.

The Congress party, however, sought an extension of the licence for the premises for another three years.

"Yes we have received a notice and have replied to it," senior Congress leader Motilal Vora said today.