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Telangana govt buys 32 Kia Carnivals for officials; faces backlash as state under Rs 40,000 cr debt

CM Rao inspected the vehicles that were flagged off on Sunday by Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar in the presence of Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar at CM's residence in Hyderabad

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana government has bought Kia Carnival cars worth Rs 23-30 lakh for 32 Additional District Collectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This move has received a lot of backlash from the opposition that has called this purchase a 'criminal surge' as the state reels under a debt of Rs 40,000 crore.

CM Rao inspected the vehicles that were flagged off on Sunday by Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar in the presence of Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar at CM's residence in Hyderabad.

Calling it a 'criminal splurge' BJP questioned the motive behind the purchase and said that it was to appease bureaucrats. "How can Chief Minister Rao justify spending over Rs 11 crores to buy 32 ultra-luxury vehicles?" said BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao. Rao said that the CM was indulging in massive wastage of public money in the 'middle of a dangerous pandemic', while many poor people are dying of debt burden. "This decision...is horrendous and unthinkable," he said,

Congress' D Sravan Kumar called out the 'audacity' of the move. "As such KCR (Chief Minister Rao) has pushed the surplus state of Telangana into a debt trap state with a whopping debt of Rs 4,00,00,00,00,000. They already have government cars in good condition," he said. Kumar alleged that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi instead of ensuring more number of beds in government hospitals of buying buses for public transport was misusing money to buy luxury cars for bureaucrats.

Finance Minister Harish Rao had also recently highlighted that the government lost up to Rs 4,500 crore due to COVID-19 lockdown. 

The Chief Minister justified the purchase of the luxury cars and said that the additional collectors need such vehicles to tour the district and discharge their duties.