The Opposition in Telangana on Sunday criticised Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s government for buying a fleet of luxury cars for Indian Administrative Service officers in the state amid the Covid-19 crisis, reported NDTV.

Thirty-two additional district collectors were given 32 Kia Carnival cars that approximately cost the state’s taxpayers an estimated Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh for each vehicle. The Telangana chief minister inspected the vehicles after which they were flagged off on Sunday.

The state government is in debt of nearly Rs 40,000 crore, the Congress highlighted, adding that this was “completely irresponsible” way of handling public money.

“For the last seven years, the surplus state of Telangana has completely been turned into a debt trap state with Rs 4 lakh crores of debt,” Congress leader D Sravan Kumar said in a video statement on Twitter. “Now, when the whole world is suffering due to Covid and so is Telangana...Today, there are hundreds of cars lying idle in the government worksheds...why do you need new cars?”

The Congress leader alleged that this was the chief minister’s attempt to help the vehicle company recuperate from the pandemic-induced financial loss. He also accused the state government of appeasing the administrative officers with cars so that they remain mute spectators to Rao’s “misdeeds and misgovernance”.

Kumar said that instead of spending this money to fix the state’s healthcare infrastructure gaps during the coronavirus crisis, the KCR government was being irresponsible.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson K Krishna Sagar Rao also criticised the state government’s spending. “How can Chief Minister KCR justify spending over Rs 11 crores to buy 32 ultra-luxury vehicles for additional collectors in Telangana state?” he asked, according to ANI. “BJP wants to know, what is the chief minister expecting from the additional collectors with this brazen bureaucrats appeasement splurge?”

The BJP leader also flagged Telangana Finance Minister Harish Rao’s statements on the massive revenue loss due to lockdowns. Harish Rao had sought to increase the state’s fiscal responsibility and budget management limit from 4% to 5% to raise more loans.

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