Search:



The Web

Rediff








 Latest News on mobile: sms NEWS to 7333

Home > News > Report


No takers for Vajpayee's BMWs

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | June 10, 2004 15:48 IST

Four luxury BMW cars, custom fitted for then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, have become a headache for the new government.

While Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, known for his dislike for ostentation, is reluctantly using two of them, there are no takers for the rest.

The cars, that cost the government Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) a piece, are armoured vehicles capable of withstanding a landmine blast. They are fitted with latest security and communication equipment.

According to well placed sources, President A P J Abdul Kalam, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Congress president Sonia Gandhi have all refused to use the cars.

S M Khan, the President's press secretary, said Rashtrapati Bhavan does not need the vehicle.

"At the moment there is no such proposal with us. The President's fleet of cars is complete and he uses a Mercedes for travelling. Hence, we do not require any more vehicles," Khan told rediff.com

"Why should the President touch the hot potato? Even the vice-president does not seem to be interested in them (the cars)," a senior intelligence official said.

Sonia too has made clear her preference for Ambassador cars.

The four BMWs were bought about six months ago on advice from the Special Protection Group, which provides protection to the prime minister, his family, former prime ministers and their families.

Dr Singh, who drove a white Maruti 800 till he was appointed prime minister, was uncomfortable with the idea of moving around in a BMW. But the SPG put its foot down.

What must also bother Dr Singh is the fuel efficiency of these cars. According to sources, Vajpayee's office spent around Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million) these past six months on fuel for these automobiles.

Top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders now claim that only one BMW was initially ordered for use by Vajpayee. But SPG agents objected because a single BMW would have stood out like a sour thumb in a cavalcade of cars that the prime minister travels in and become a security nightmare.

That is one reason why Ambassador cars have been preferred for so long by Indian VIPs.


7333: The Latest News on Your Mobile!


More reports from Delhi
Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament


Share your comments


 What do you think about the story?




Read what others have to say:


Number of User Comments: 20




Sub: CARS

If nobody wants it then y dont they Auction it off.The revenue generated can be used for some good purpose


Posted by SAnty





Sub: SWADESHI KINGS!!!

Now I know where my Rs.3000/- IT Tax goes every month, more and more people like me know that they are paying INCOME TAX. But, ...


Posted by Ravi Anand





Sub: No takers for Vajpayee's BMWs

your heading "no takers for Vajpayee's BMWs" is strange. are these vehicles really for vajpayeeji and his kith and kin or for anyone who holds ...


Posted by surojeet ghosh





Sub: BMW CARS

I FEEL THE GOVT. OF INDIA SHOULD DO AWAY WITH SUCH EXPENSIVE CARS, BECAUSE THE COUNTRY HAS TO GIVE TOP PRIORITY TO BALANCE THE ECONOMIC ...


Posted by K.AMUL CHANDER





Sub: Swadeshi BJP and their Honest Leaders

Nothing can be a more cruel a joke on Indian democracy than the extravagant and careless spending of public money for a PM or a ...


Posted by vinay gupta




Disclaimer




Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article





People Who Read This Also Read


BMW to set up plant in Gurgaon







Copyright © 2005 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.