The Himachal Pradesh government acquiring heritage building Bantony Estate in Shimla, fearing it might be lost otherwise.

Bantony Estate, near Scandal Point on Shimla’s famous Ridge, was the summer palace of the erstwhile Maharaja of Sirmaur, whose coat-of-arms can still be seen in the cast-iron railing in front of the house. Bantony was bought by the maharaja of Sirmaur from its British owner Captain Gordon to build his Ridge-top summer house in 1880.

During BJP tenure, the property was purchased by a London-based Indian businessman in 2011 to give way to an ultra-luxurious spa. However, then opposition Congress had vehemently opposed the move and had alleged political link-up in it.