Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s departure from her residence of many years -- 35, Lodhi Estate -- is bound to be an emotional one. She shifted here after her marriage in February 1997 and both her children were born here.
Ahead of vacating her years-long home, the Congress general secretary invited BJP MP Anil Baluni and his wife for tea. Baluni will be taking over the accommodation after Gandhi's departure.
Gandhi on Monday tweeted to say that she has spoken to the Baluni family and wished their stay was as filled with happiness as hers was with her family.
Gandhi was asked to vacate the official bungalow after losing her Special Protection Group (SPG) cover last year. She will move to a house in Gurgaon for a short period before shifting back to a rented apartment in Delhi after completing the formalities.
She had also invited Baluni to tea on Sunday, who replied - "I returned home after treatment for cancer. Now, the doctors have asked me to stay in home isolation. I am grateful for your invitation. After going to 35 Lodhi Estate, I would like to invite your whole family for a meal, where I'd like to serve you traditional food of Uttarakhand - Mundve ki Roti, Jhangore ki Kheer, Pahadi Rayata."
35, Lodhi Estate is a relatively small accommodation under the C category, but is located in one of the prime locations in Lutyens' Delhi.
Simply done up, the pride of place is the garden, which sources say Gandhi herself has tended to as she is fond of gardening. In fact, she recently shared on social media a picture of herself planting in the garden. Gandhi has also planted a lemon tree, which she is very fond of.
Sources say Gandhi had furnished the home very simply but among her her prized possessions are the many pictures taken by her father and late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was very fond of photography. These dominate the walls of her home.
Just outside her house lives a family whom she meets on her way out and, in fact, sources say she helps them financially.
Gandhi's invitation to Baluni and his wife is seen as a goodwill gesture to ensure that her vacating the house is not seen as a bitter parting.
Gandhi was recently involved in a Twitter spat with Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri when he said a senior Congress leader had called him to request extension for her stay in the house. Gandhi replied to say she will shift out on the expected date -- August 1.
Baluni was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai for cancer treatment and is now back home. He would soon to shift to Gandhis's home of years.
Sources said Baluni has also extended an invitation to Gandhi and her family for an 'Uttarakhand meal' once he shifts into his new house.
A PTI report said the BJP MP invited Gandhi for a meal comprising dishes of Uttarakhand, like 'Manduwe ki roti', 'Jhangore ki kheer', 'Pahadi raita' and 'Bhatt ki churkani', while thanking the Congress leader for her gesture.