Congress leaders to hit campaign trail in SUVs

12 DCC presidents received keys of the SUVs at the KPCC office

Congress leaders to hit campaign trail in SUVs

The Congress may buy some more time to finalise candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. But, it is losing no time in making preparations for campaigning.

On Wednesday evening, the KPCC office allotted SUVs to district Congress presidents so that no excuse regarding lack of transportation could be given for not commencing groundwork for the campaigning.

Party sources said all 35 DCC presidents would get a brand new Bolero. As many as 12 DCC presidents received keys of the SUVs at the KPCC office from party State president G Parameshwara. 

According to Bose Raj, general secretary of the party, the SUVs would be taken back after four months. “We are giving the vehicles to help the DCC presidents to tour rural areas. It is not that we are gifting them the vehicles. It will be sold back to showrooms from where they were bought,” he said. 

However, party vice-president B L Shankar was frank enough to say the SUVs were purchased by the KPCC from its resources. They would be at the disposal of the district party units. They were not just for campaigning, he added. 

The party was not ready to divulge more details about the purchases. An SUV costs not less than Rs 6 to 8 lakh, depending on the model. Sources said the party would have to bear the fuel cost as well. 

This is not the first instance of the Congress providing SUVs or jeeps to its leaders during elections. 

Earlier, the party used to allow winning candidates to retain the vehicle. When S M Krishna was the chief minister, the DCC presidents were provided with jeeps for the Assembly polls in 2004. It is said the vehicles were supplied from Kerala on instructions of the high command. After the elections, the vehicles which were in good condition were taken back, while some were junked, sources said. 

A Congress leader said when S Bangarappa was the KCP president in 1994, the party had tied up with a showroom and bought jeeps on loans. 

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