IF there is one confident man, it seems to be our Prime Minister.
The country is going to general elections in a couple of months, but Manmohan Singh has apparently mentioned his prime ministerial home 7, Race Course Road, New Delhi as his "permanent address" in the documents submitted with the Motor Licensing Office, Indraprastha Estate, where he got his driving licence renewed last Sunday.
While renewing his driving licence for five years, he may have renewed his Prime Ministership too in his mind for at least that period, if transport officials are to be believed.
The driving licence renewal format has two columns for present and permanent addresses.
"In both these columns, the Prime Minister has put his official Race Course Road address," a transport department official told MiD DAY, requesting anonymity to avoid being censured by his bosses. Technically, an official residence attached to a post cannot be a permanent address.
Interestingly, the Rajya Sabha website has the Prime Minister's permanent address as House No 3989, Nandan Nagar, Ward No 51, Sarumataria, Dispur, Guwahati, district Kamrup, Assam 781006. Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam.
"Trivialisation," said Congress Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. "If the Prime Minister of the country cannot give the permanent address where he is living without inviting spoof on it, then we are in free fall. Let's not trivialise public life."
Media Advisor to the Prime Minister Deepak Sandhu said she would not be able to comment before checking out the details.
Transport Commissioner, Delhi Government, RK Verma refused to comment too.
The transport department officials said the present address was generally used to send notices and contact licence holders.
"People in metros who often change their addresses tend to carelessly put their present residence as their permanent address," said the transport official.
"If a notice is sent to a licence holder at all his possible addresses but there is no one to receive it, only then it becomes an offence. The licence holder has to inform about the change of address to his local transport authority," said SP Singh from the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training.
Singh's documents reached the transport authority about three days before his visit to the transport office and were cleared on the same day, sources said.
|PM at the wheel|
|* Manmohan Singh first got his licence on December 24, 1993. He got it renewed on December 3, 2003.|
* In 2003, he had put his address as 9, Safdarjung Lane, New Delhi. Next renewal would be due on January 16, 2014.
* This time he paid Rs 250 as fee, a late fee of Rs 50 and Rs 20 for address change.