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Old 11th June 2004, 12:44   #1
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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.

source : rediff.com

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Old 11th June 2004, 13:23   #2
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Being heaviliy armoured, they will not exactly be quick and fluid to drive - more like a charging elephant - most probably they will be used by visitors - or in a gesture - handed over to Musharaff for his safety !
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Old 11th June 2004, 13:51   #3
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The greatest paradox about a beemer is that despite it being heavily advertised as " The Ultimate Driving Machine" you'll still find people who will shell out a couple of miilions to buy this car and then happily give it away to their chauffers to drive while they relax in the backseat...what do u think guys, wouldn't a DC stretched amby be more appropriate for such persons ??

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Old 11th June 2004, 15:14   #4
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Nice to see people atchually refuse using these cars,
And our dear prime minister is concerned abt fuel eff.
Hail M.Singh!
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Old 11th June 2004, 15:28   #5
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if the PM wants to use an Amby its good. he cud use a PCB modded Amby. I guess they are the only private manufacturers of bulletproof vehicles in India.
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Old 11th June 2004, 15:58   #6
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I think the car must be given to Musharraf like, Ajmat said....he needs it more than anyone....maybe even C.Naidu..
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Old 12th June 2004, 00:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (shravan316 @ June 11 2004,14:28)]....maybe even C.Naidu..
what will he do with it?
he already has 5 bullet proof ambys, 2 jammers and a fully bullet prooof suv, even though he is not the cm anymore!!!!
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Old 12th June 2004, 00:22   #8
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c what bothers me with the pricetag is that its more than 1.1 mil USD, now how can that be, when a fully imported royal family style bullet proof bentley comes for 7 crores with duty and if I know the indian govt right, they wouldnt (need to) pay duty, so the 5 cr price tag is only bull.

anyhow its nice that MS is a down to earth guy, but whatever man..we r still screwed India has gone back 10 years..thats all I can say..

L8r



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Old 12th June 2004, 00:41   #9
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supid damned government screwing us over. If i had control over which car to buy i would give him a damn fiat and made it bulletbroof. it wouldnt have cost more than 50 lakhs max for 5 of them and we would atleast save money for developmentin rural areas and not urban areas.
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