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Bungalow That Housed APJ Abdul Kalam Will Become President Pranab Mukherjee's Home Post Retirement

Current occupant Union Minister Mahesh Sharma will move out of 10, Rajaji Marg.

19/01/2017 12:22 PM IST | Updated 19/01/2017 12:54 PM IST
FAROOQ NAEEM via Getty Images
File photo of President Pranab Mukherjee.

When the Central government allotted the bungalow that had been occupied by former President APJ Abdul Kalam to Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, many had complained that it was tantamount to 'insulting' Dr Kalam's memory.

Now, 10, Rajaji Marg in Delhi's Lutyens enclave will house President Pranab Mukherjee after his term ends in July this year, reports the Indian Express.

Kalam had occupied the Rajaji Marg residence until his death in 2015.

Mukherjee reportedly wanted "a house with a good reading and writing space." Spread over an area of 11,776 sq feet, 10, Rajaji Marg's ground floor has a library and an attached reading space.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, the current occupant, confirmed to Indian Express that he has been asked to vacate the duplex bungalow.

"I was asked by the Prime Minister's Office a few days ago if I had any objection to my house being allotted to Pranab da," Sharma said. "I offered to vacate it since I hardly use it."

According to earlier media reports, the government had asked former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma's family to vacate the 34, APJ Abdul Kalam Road bungalow, which was likely to become President Mukherjee's new address upon retirement.

The allotment of 10, Rajaji Marg to Sharma had led to controversy.

"Limiting Dr Kalam's work to Rameshwaram only and shifting all his documents books and even Veena to Rameshwaram is insulting. His residence should not be vacated but should be converted into a Knowledge Centre in the loving memory of the legend. So many government residence(s) being allotted permanently in the names of various political leaders, so why hurry in vacating Kalam's house," Delhi Art and Culture Minister Kapil Mishra had said at the time.

Sharma, in response, pointed out that he was getting an official accommodation after waiting for 11 months adding that the "walls of the former President's house" will inspire him to do better. He has now reportedly asked for a Type-VIII government bungalow.

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