Karnataka government gifts SUV worth Rs.75 lakh to former Prime Minister Deve Gowda

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The former Prime Minister will be owning the costliest government car in Karnataka

The Karnataka government’s decision to provide a swanky new SUV worth more than Rs.75 lakhs to former Prime Minister Deve Gowda following his election to Rajya Sabha has raised eyebrows in the political circles in the state.

The highend Volvo car is the most expensive vehicle given to any elected representative in the state and costs almost three times more than what is permitted for a Rajya Sabha member. The decision to purchase such an expensive car at a time when the state is facing severe financial crisis by modifying the rule that limits the maximum expense at Rs.22 lakh for purchasing new vehicle for elected representatives.

Quoting sources in the government, the New Indian Express reported that the former PM had requested for a ‘’comfortable’’ vehicle. The proposal was cleared by CM B S Yediyurappa himself as a special case taking into account his age and him being the only one from Karnataka to have been PM.

At present, most of the ministers and MPs are using Toyota Innova Crysta MUVs, while Yediyurappa and Opposition leader Siddaramiah are using Toyota Fortuner SUVs which cost Rs 40- Rs 45 lakh. While the CM has two Fortuners, Siddaramiah was given one from the State Legislative Assembly.

Deve Gowda’s new car is registered in the name of the Chief Secretary. “No other car in the state, allotted by government, including the CM’s vehicle, is this expensive,’’ said the source. The vehicle was given to Deve Gowda after he took as s Rajya Sabha member on Sunday, September 20.  

Sources in the RTO said the vehicle's ex showroom price is about Rs 60 lakh and if insurance and tax are included, it would go up to Rs 75 lakh. As the vehicle has been bought by the government in the chief secretary's name, there would be no tax component and the price might be Rs 63-65 lakh.

When contacted by Times of India, Deve Gowda refused to comment. Sources said Gowda was particular about the car's registration number having a link with digit 9, which is considered an auspicious number by numerologists. He got 3636 where the first and last two numbers add to 9.

Gowda's new car, however, set tongues wagging on social media. "Our government is expert in misusing public money," N Sridhara tweeted. Another Twitter user, Satish Torgal, wrote, "Karnataka's great CM given 60 lacs worth car to Devegowda at such crucial time. It's tax payer's money. It's not acceptable (sic)," the TOI report said.

Image Credit: DNA India

 

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