Similar to Manmohan’s Simple Lifestyle
In that at least, he shares a trait with predecessor Manmohan Singh, who’s also known for his simple lifestyle.
Officials in the special team at the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which is entrusted with getting the PM’s home ready, haven’t been asked to make any changes. Some surmise this could be because Modi’s a bachelor. Families of ministers and parliamentarians who move into Lutyens Delhi bungalows usually come up with special requests for changes in the colour of walls to upholstery, furniture and fittings. “Maybe because the new PM comes without the baggage of a family, this time it’s different,” said one official. “We are painting the house now and we may change upholstery if needed.” A senior official at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), which loans artworks to the PM’s house, said there had been no communication from the PMO for any changes. Modi’s residence as chief minister of Gujarat was minimalist in nature, with the living room having just four chairs and a small centre table. That home in Gandhinagar is in a compound shared with the governor of the state and nestles in a grove inhabited by swans, peacocks and other birds.
7 RCR is actually five bungalows — Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 — spread across 12 acres on Race Course Road, which has been blocked off for the PM’s house and offices for the past three decades.
These bungalows were originally designed by Robert Tor Russell, who was part of British architect Edwin Lutyens’ team when he was designing New Delhi in the 1920s and 1930s. Russell also designed Teen Murti Bhavan, Connaught Place and the Eastern and Western courts on Janpath.
After the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi at her 1 Safdarjung Road bungalow in 1984, 7 RCR was chosen as a more secure location for son and successor Rajiv Gandhi. Today, 1 RCR is a helipad, No. 3 is where Manmohan Singh stayed with his wife and No. 5 was the guest house, and possibly where Modi will choose to stay. 7 RCR, which lends its name to the entire complex, is where the PM has his home office. The last bungalow, 9 RCR, is occupied by the Special Protection Group (SPG) that guards the PM.