Snapshot – Last week, we gave you an overview of cars that 10 powerful chief ministers of India use. Today, we take a look of the daily driver cars of 10 more chief ministers of 10 other states in the country. From Punjab to Kerala, from Gujarat to Tripura, we’ve got most of India’s chief ministers covered in this story.
Parkash Singh Badal
Punjab, the land of the five rivers is known for its fertile land and booming agriculture. The state is quite rich and is ruled by octogenarian chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, who also happens to be the head of the Shiromani Akali Dal. Badal also has a slew of businesses and is one of the richer chief ministers of the country. He is driven around in a Mitsubishi Montero, which sells as the Mitsubishi Pajero in international markets.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy’s chosen ride is also India’s best selling MPV, the Toyota Innova. The Innova is known for its reliability and comfort, and Mr. Chandy’s ride has a special registration number reserved for the chief minister of Kerala – 1. The Innova is powered by a 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine that puts out 100 Bhp-200 Nm. The 7 seat MPV will be replaced by an all-new model next year.
K. Chandrashekhar Rao
K. Chandrashekhar Rao is famous for his hunger strikes that led to the formation of India’s youngest state, Telangana. The man is now the chief minister of the state for whose creation he agitated for years. The chief minister has been spotted driving a Toyota Innova on a few occassions while his regular ride is a Mahindra Scorpio.
[Image courtesy HindustanTimes]
Raman Singh heads a government in the mineral rich and Maoist hit state of Chattisgarh. The central Indian state is not really known for its roads and that’s perhaps why Mr. Singh is seen in a Tata Safari, an SUV that is known for its pliant ride quality even on poor surfaces.
Harish Rawat, the chief minister of one of India’s newer states -Uttarakhand, prefers to keep his set of official wheels simple. Harish Rawat is one of the few chief ministers of the country who are driven around in the relic of the raj, the Hindustan Ambassador sedan.
Manik Sarkar is the chief minister of the north eastern state of Tripura, and is known for his spare lifestyle. The man continues to be driven around in a Hindustan Ambassador, just like Nitish Kumar. The Ambassador’s USP is its sofa-like back seat, and the car was once the defacto mode of transport for politicians in India.
Narendra Modi’s Mahindra Scorpio SUV, which was the official vehicle of the former Gujarat chief minister, has been passed on to his successor, Anandiben Patel. The Scorpio is a tough and macho SUV that is built to handle rough roads of India. The SUV is also in tune with the make-in-India campaign that encourages car makers to build cars here. As a state, Gujarat is betting big on automotive manufacturing.
Another SUV that is made-in-India is the Tata Safari, which is Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s chosen set of wheels. Like the Scorpio, the Safari is another homegrown vehicle that is tough, macho, spacious and built for the rough roads. Unlike the Scorpio, the Tata Safari is known for its pliant ride quality on broken surfaces.
Another chief minister who prefers the plush ride of the Tata Safari is Jammu and Kashmir’s Mufti Sayeed. The chief minister of the strife torn state that continues to remain under high alert due to militancy from across the border prefers the solidity of the Safari SUV over the comfort of sedans.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik is driven around in a Maruti Suzuki SX4, a car that’s no longer in production. When it was still around, the SX4 featured the tallest ground clearance on a sedan, making it ideal option for rougher roads.