Delhi govt has spent Rs 1.44 crore on 'Aam Aadmi' CM Kejriwal's cars, reveals RTI reply
A recent response sought under the RTI Act has revealed that the Delhi state government has spent Rs 1.44 crore since 2014 to buy vehicles for the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal, the man who drew a lot of attention in the run-up to the 2013 Delhi elections for his down-to-earth demeanour, the modest blue Wagon R he rode in, and for seemingly walking the Aam Aadmi talk, has had a change of heart, it seems.
A recent response sought under the Right To Information Act has revealed that the Delhi state government has spent (hold your breath) Rs 1.44 crore since 2014 to buy vehicles for the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. And for his devoted second-in-command, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, close to Rs 45 lakh has been spent.
Kejriwal has been seen as recently as April 2022 in a Rs 36 lakh-costing MG Gloster and before that in a Toyota Innova and in a Mahindra Alturas G4, which too cost upwards of Rs 32 lakh. He has been seen in two different Toyota Innova models. In 2015 too, Kejriwal had reportedly refused to take an official car.
This is a change in ground realities for a man who travelled to his swearing-in ceremony at Ramlila Maidan on a metro because he was the ‘common man’ and famously refused to move into the bungalow reserved for chief ministers of Delhi. Even his light blue hatchback, dubbed the ‘AAP Mobile’, was gifted by an AAP supporter living abroad.
In the run up to the 2015 elections, Kejriwal had stated that he would ban ‘VIP culture’ and 49 days after he was sworn in as Chief Minister in the same year, he claimed that he had ended ‘VIP culture’.
In 2017, another controversy had broken out over Kejriwal spending more than Rs 11,00,000 for 80 plates. Arranged by Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTC), per plate cost as per the bills was Rs 16,025 and Rs 12,472 respectively
In 2015, Kejriwal had also refused to allot vehicles to the 21 parliamentary secretaries appointed by the government despite a few of them having requested the General Administration Department (GAD) for one.
Sisodia’s case is even more interesting. In his election affidavit filed for the 2020 Delhi elections, he claimed that he owned no car. He mentioned ‘nil’ in the motor vehicles column. In the 2015 election affidavit, the Deputy Chief Minister had declared that he owned a Maruti Swift. But, we don’t know what has happened to that car, now that government funds are being used to help him travel in style too.
In 2015, Manish Sisodia was allotted former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s car Suzuki Vitara car as it was lying unused.