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Haryana CM goes on a luxury drive.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who in July this year hogged the limelight by travelling in a state transport bus, seems to have thrown austerity measures up in the air by buying luxury cars for his Cabinet colleagues.

Despite a fleet of cars purchased by the previous Hooda government, the current government recently bought eight new luxury cars. The Congress has criticised the move.

Making a mockery of the Khattar government's claims of austerity measures, the Haryana government, after purchasing new cars for bureaucrats in October this year, has now purchased eight high- end luxury cars for the ministers.

According to the state's department of Supplies and Disposals, the state government recently purchased four new Toyota Fortuner and four Honda CRV vehicles which have been allotted to the ministers.

While nearly ` 2 crore has already been spent on buying new cars, more cars will be purchased soon as the number of ministers in the Cabinet is 17.

" The state government has purchased eight new cars which include four Toyota Fortuners and four Honda CRVs. While each Toyota Fortuner will cost ` 24 lakh, the cost of a single Honda CRV is ` 23.7 lakh," Additional Director, Supplies & Disposals, Haryana ( Engineering), KK Parmar, said.

The Congress has criticised the state government for giving austerity measures a miss and said the chief minister, who presented himself as the common naive person, has betrayed the people of the state.

" This purchase has exposed Chief minister Khattar's double standards. While in July by travelling in a bus he had tried to tell the people that he believes in simple living, by purchasing eight luxury cars for the ministers he has tried to convey to the people that he can take an austerity U- turn, particularly when the luxury is being bought for his Cabinet colleagues," Treasurer, Bought 8 new high- end cars for his ministers

Treasurer, Haryana Congress, Tarun Bhardwaj, said.

CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday confirmed the purchase of eight new vehicles. He, however, said that the cars have been purchased to replace the old ones. " Eight new cars have been purchased. These cars will replace old ones," Khattar said during a press conference in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Khattar's Officer On Special Duty ( OSD) Jawahar Yadav slammed the Congress for criticising the move and said the government did not flout any austerity measure as new cars were a " necessity". " What is wrong in buying new cars when the old ones are required to be replaced. It is the question of a minister's security as old vehicle can be dangerous," Yadav said.

Earlier in October this year, the Haryana government had revised the price limit for the official cars for its bureaucrats. The state government had purchased Maruti Ciaz and Honda City cars for its bureaucrats. The new cars have been purchased when there was already a fleet of luxury cars, including Fortuners and Honda CRVs, which were purchased by the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda government by spending ` 3.2 crore in 2012.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 30, 2015
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