Rajasthan CM cuts security, declines luxury house

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje seems to have taken a leaf out of her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal’s book, cutting down on her security and turning down a luxurious residence.

Raje, who had been at the receiving end of the opposition parties' criticism for her upscale lifestyle during her previous tenure, has now scaled down her security by half, promised to stop at red lights with common commuters and said no to the luxurious chief ministerial bungalow, said sources close to her.

A few days ago, she had asked the state’s Director General of Police (DGP) Omendra Bhardwaj to scale down her security. “In her directions, she had asked the police chief to depute the hundreds of policemen, who would be relieved of her security duty, in the service of common men,” said a senior police officer.

Raje is of the view that she would be more accessible to the common man if the security is reduced, added the officer.

Apart from the security, another gesture from Raje to be among the masses was her decision not to move into the sprawling chief minister’s bungalow in the Civil Lines area here.

“She has decided to stay in her government residence at 13, Civil Lines, which is comparatively much smaller,” said a senior state government official who preferred not to be named.

During her tenure as chief minister between 2003 and 2008, Raje had been criticised for widespread renovation work at the chief minister’s residence at 8, Civil Lines.

Congress leaders had accused her of wasting public money on her luxurious lifestyle.

Raje, who comes from the royal family of Gwalior, has also instructed the police not to make special arrangements for the passage of her cavalcade. “She has said she will stop at red lights, so that common commuters don’t get hassled by the traffic restrictions which were earlier the norm whenever the chief minister’s cavalcade passed,” said a traffic department officer.

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