Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not call himself a ‘fakir’ now with the addition of a “Rs 12 crore” car in his cavalcade.
In his weekly column ‘Rokhthok’ in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Raut also praised former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for always using an Indian-made car, and late PM Indira Gandhi for not replacing her security guards despite a threat to her life.
“On December 28, media reported pictures of a Rs 12 crore car for Prime Minister Modi. A person who calls himself a fakir, a pradhan sevak, uses a foreign made car,” Raut said.
“The prime minister’s security and comfort are important, but from now on, the pradhan sevak should not repeat that he is a fakir (ascetic),” the Rajya Sabha member said.
A Mercedes-Maybach S650 Guard was recently added to the prime minister’s cavalcade by the Special Protection Group.
The price quoted for a Maybach car in a section of the media is over Rs 12 crore.
However, government sources had said the new car was a replacement of the BMW used by the prime minister as the German carmaker stopped production of the vehicle.
Official sources had also said the SPG security detail has a six-year norm to replace vehicles used for the protectee and that Modi has not given any preference on which cars to use. They also said that the car costs about one-third of the price quoted in the media.
Raut on Sunday said Modi, who started ‘swadeshi’ initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-Up India’, is using a foreign manufactured car.
Praising Jawaharlal Nehru, the Shiv Sena’s spokesperson said the country’s first prime minister, despite the security threat after the partition, always used an Indian-made Ambassador car.
He also said that (former PM) Indira Gandhi, despite a threat to her life, did not change Sikh security personnel deployed for her security. Besides, (former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi mingled with crowd in Tamil Nadu and got killed by the LTTE, he said.
“He (Rajiv Gandhi) should not have dared to mingle with the crowd. But, he did,” Raut said.
Targeting the Center over night curbs in the wake of the rise in COVID-19 cases again in parts of the country, the Sena leader said the Union government has imposed such restrictions at night, resulting in financial losses.
PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Samajwadi Party head Akhilesh Yadav address rallies which are attended by lakhs of people. But, the restrictions are only for the common man, Raut said.