Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Value of Punjab CM’s Moti Bagh palace same as 15 years back
As per the poll affidavit filed by Congress’ Patiala candidate, Preneet Kaur, the value of Moti Bagh palace, inherited by her husband and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, is ₹35 crore, the same as it was in 2004.
The value of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh’s sprawling New Moti Bagh palace in Patiala has remained the same ast it was 15 years back: ₹35 crore, as per the poll affidavit filed by his wife and Congress’ Patiala candidate Preneet Kaur.
In her poll affidavit in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur had listed the value of 33-acre (160 bighas) Moti Bagh palace in Patiala, inherited by her husband as scion of the Patiala royalty, at ₹35 crore. Flaunting orchards, a stud farm, mini shooting range, staff quarters, palace and open gardens, its value stayed stagnant in the three elections the couple contested from their home turf Patiala, defying the realty boom during the decade. Amarinder listed its price (value) at ₹35 crore in his nomination papers for the 2007 state polls, so did Preneet in 2009 Lok Sabha polls and Amarinder again in the 2012 state polls.
In the 2012 polls, questions were raised as on how could a prime property in the heart of Patiala have the same valuation, defying time and trends in the realty market. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the couple was together in the poll fray from Patiala and Amritsar seats, their poll affidavits showed the market value of Moti Bagh palace had doubled to ₹71.3 crore.
While Amarinder won from Amritsar, defeating Arun Jaitley, Preneet lost the polls. She contested his assembly seat of Patiala in the bypoll in 2014 and the value of the palace remained at ₹71.3 crore in her poll affidavit. She won the bypoll but Amarinder reclaimed his assembly seat in the 2017 state polls. However, his affidavit showed the value of the palace had depreciated by half, back to ₹35 crore. And it remains unchanged in Preneet Kaur’s nomination papers for May 19 Lok Sabha polls.
KP Pandove, the election agent of Preneet and Captain in all elections so far, says the palace is valued as per the prevailing collector rates. “It is an ancestral property. No part has been sold or bought new. We valued it at ₹71 crore when there was a boom in property prices. The present market value is based on self assessment through collector rates provided by the office of deputy commissioner. The property rates are stagnant since last few years,” he said.
Like the Patiala palace, the value of CM’s agricultural land in Haridwar bought way back in 1997 too has not moved up from ₹13.8 lakh. But the 33-bigha land in Preneet’s name in Shimla bought in 1983 for ₹1.3 lakh is now valued at ₹1 crore.