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Meet the MP who travels on a scooter

August 20, 2004 14:22 IST

He has ignored taunts of being a modest parliamentarian with much to be modest about.

Despite the barbs, Dr Ramkrishna Kusumaria, the Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament from Khajuraho, believes in leading a simple life.

In an era where ostentatious MPs prefer driving to Parliament in cars like Mercedes, Lexus and BMW, Dr Kusumaria comes on a scooter.

Even the guards manning the Parliament House's main entrance stare in surprise as the MP comes on his scooter with his personal secretary Atul Trivedi -- shown sitting on the scooter in the top image -- riding pillion.

"Let people say anything they want. I am the people's representative. I cannot forget that I am in Parliament to serve them," he says.

Born on July 30, 1945 in Sakor in Madhya Pradesh's Damoh district, he acquired a doctorate in agriculture from Jabalpur's Jawaharlal Nehru Agriculture University.

He married Geeta Devi and the couple have three sons and a daughter.

"If people sent me to the Vidhan Sabha (state assembly) thrice and gave me five terms in the Lok Sabha (Xth, XIth, XIIth, XIIIth and IVth), it is because they know that I live up to their expectations.

"I am a simple man who believes that dharma is to simply serve the people with devotion and without fuss," he says.

Called 'Babaji' in his constituency, he still lives in 204, South Avenue, the MP flat that was allotted to him when he first entered Parliament in 1991.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati used to live there before him.

She asked him to look for a bigger accommodation but he declined, saying that it more than met his needs.

People of Khajuraho admire Babaji because he has helped with half a dozen kidney transplants and nearly a hundred bypass surgeries.

He has helped several patients who underwent surgery to remove brain tumour. The MP also regularly donates blood.

In fact, once Dr Kusumaria declined to accept a car that the people of his constituency presented to him.

"Yes, the people felt that it was unbecoming of their MP to move around on a scooter and so they decided to contribute for a car for me. But it was unthinkable and I told them that I was happy with my scooter," he says.

Photo: Vijayendra Tyagi
Image: Rahil Shaikh

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi