Shimla, Sep 11 In what is being seen as a veiled threat following attack on Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut's office in Mumbai, the BJP women's wing chief in Himachal Pradesh "it can happen here too" hinting at an attack on Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's house near here.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was quick to condemn this.
State BJP Mahila Morcha chief Rashim Dhar Sood 'courted' controversy following her threat to bulldoze Priyanka's bungalow.
In her video message, she spoke about launching a campaign against the Shiv Sena for 'demolishing' Ranaut's office. "If need be, we will not even spare Congress's daughter Priyanka Gandhi who has also built a house in Shimla. We will promise to demolish her house too," she said.
Activists of the Mahila Morcha on Thursday staged a protest here against the demolition of Kangana's office.
Rising above party lines, Thakur clarified that it was wrong to demand demolition of Priyanka Gandhi's house.
"I condemn action against Kangana and the manner in which Himachal's daughter is being targeted by the Maharashtra government. But I do not endorse the remarks (of the Mahila Morcha chief)," the BJP CM told the media here.
"Neither the government nor the party shares the views that Priyanka Gandhi's house should be demolished," he said, clarifying it was the government's duty to ensure her safety.
At the same time, state Congress President Kuldeep Rathore clarified that Priyanka's house was made as per the laws.
Priyanka's five-room cottage with wooden frames and shingled exteriors and a sloping tiled roof was completed recently. It is located at a height of more than 8,000 feet amid thick forests of pine and cedar in Chharabra, some 15 km uphill from Shimla.
Ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, along with her children and mother Sonia Gandhi, had been regularly visiting to inspect the construction work of the two-storey house on a four-bigha plus agricultural plot that was purchased in 2007.
Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Vidya Stokes had played an important role in helping Priyanka Gandhi buy a three-and-a-half bigha (one bigha is 0.4 hectare) agricultural plot for around Rs 47 lakh in 2007.
The then Congress government in the state had relaxed norms to let the Vadras buy the land.
The plot is close to The Retreat, the summer holiday resort of the Indian President.
Oberoi Group's luxury spa Wildflower Hall also lies close to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's cottage. The Congress leader is one of the most high-profile people to build a house in Himachal Pradesh, years after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee chose Kullu Valley for a cottage.
The then Himachal Pradesh government had relaxed land rules under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act to facilitate the sale for the Gandhi family.
The law prohibits outsiders from buying land in the hilly state and those who wish to buy land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek a relaxation from the government.
( With inputs from IANS )
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