Krishna, Tharoor asked to move out of five star hotels


Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee “requested” them to vacate their five star hotel rooms in the light of the criticism of their lavish lifestyle while the government advocated austerity measures in these times of drought and global recession. The Congress, too, joined Mukherjee in expressing similar sentiments: The ministers staying at luxury hotels when the government has announced austerity measures does not send the right signal.

The two ministers, who maintained that their stay in the luxury hotels was no burden on the government, as they were paying their own bills, however, vacated by Tuesday evening.

Krishna, who had been staying at the ITC Maurya, was to move to the compact Foreign Services Institute guesthouse, while Tharoor said he moved out of the Taj Mansingh on September 1 to the Indian Navy Officers’ Mess. “I have requested both the ministers to vacate their hotel rooms and they have agreed to the request,” Mukherjee told newspersons here on the sidelines of a conference.

Mukherjee advised them to stay either at their respective state guesthouses or at the majestic Hyderabad House, owned by their ministry.

Reacting to the uproar, Krishna said: “I have made some private arrangements for my stay in Delhi. I will continue to make the same kind of arrangements till I get my house that is fit enough to be occupied,” he said.

However, this went against his moves to check into the ministry-owned FSI guesthouse. He added that he was staying in the hotel as the official bungalow allotted to him was not yet ready. Tharoor used the social networking tool Twitter to give his reaction, pointing out that he was spending his “own savings” made from “30 years of international work”.

“I would be ashamed if I was spending the people’s money. But I’m not — I’m spending my own savings,” Tharoor tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, in reply to a question asked on Twitter.

On a suggestion that Kerala House could be a temporary place for stay, Tharoor said: “I need two things daily that the Kerala House doesn’t offer — a gym and some privacy. But I visit pretty often and meet people there.”

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