Snapshot – Being a chief minister (CM) of a state comes with its privileges. Like the prime minister of the country – Narendra Modi, who is driven about in a heavily fortified BMW 7-Series, the satraps of India’s 29 states have the privilege to choose a vehicle of their liking. Some like it opulent while the others keep it low key. Here’s what 10 of India’s high profile chief ministers are driven about it.
Mercedes Benz GL 350 CDI
The chief minister of one of India’s most populous states – Uttar Pradesh – prefers the back seat of a Mercedes Benz GL 350 CDI. Also known as the GL-Class, this luxury SUV from Mercedes Benz is the largest and the most luxurious of its kinds. The GL 350 CDI variant is powered by a 3 liter V6 turbo diesel engine that gives the behemoth terrific acceleration. Prices start from 77.5 lakh rupees.
Nara Chandrababu Naidu
Mahindra Scorpio Facelift
Nara Chandrababu Naidu is the chief minister of the Andhra Pradesh, a state that is now divided. In his first term as the chief minister, Chandrababu Naidu’s bullet proof Hindustan Ambassador allowed him to survive a grisly naxalite attack. Fast forward to now, the top man in Andhra’s polity is carted about in a facelifted Mahindra Scorpio SUV.
Mercedes Benz E-Class E350 CDI
The CM of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, is in some trouble with her links with disgraced cricket administrator Lalit Modi. The lady continues to live a plush lifestyle though, given her royal bloodline. A current-gen Mercedes Benz E-Class E350 CDI with the registration plate bearing the number 1 is what Ms. Raje is driven about in. Her other rides include a Honda Accord while she visits Delhi, and a Toyota Fortuner in Rajasthan.
Muffler man and maverick politician Arvind Kejriwal rode into Delhi’s chief ministership in a Maruti Suzuki WagonR. He lost power soon after. In his second coming to the CM’s office, Kejriwal prefers a Toyota Innova as his personal means of transport. The Innova’s fuss free and reliable nature make it a top pick in India’s MPV market.
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
The former CM of Tamilnadu has just been exonerated of disproportionate assets charges, although an appeal against this judgment is pendng in front of the Supreme Court. The lady however has lost none of her verve, with a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado forming her daily ride.
The Karnataka government has bought a Toyota Fortuner luxury SUV for use by the chief minister of the state. Siddaramaiah is seen in one. This move is also good for the state considering the fact that Toyota assembles the Fortuner in Bidadi, off Bangalore.
Devendra Fadnavis, one of the younger chief ministers of the country, has been encouraging the make-in-India initiative in the state of Maharashtra. Decidedly, a Tata Safari SUV is the chosen means of transport for the Maharashtra CM. The Safari is built at Tata Motors’ Pimpri factory.
Mamata Banerjee is another prominent politician known for her spare lifestyle. A Maruti Suzuki Zen used to be the West Bengal CM’s daily driver until recently. The upgrade is also not ostentatious, in the form of the comfortable and reliable Toyota Innova.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a political heavyweight in Madhya Pradesh. This three time CM is driven about in a butch Toyota Fortuner SUV. Like the Innova, the Fortuner is also known as a reliable vehicle, but is much more bumpier than the former.
The chief minister of one of India’s most underdeveloped states – Bihar, is known to maintain an austere lifestyle. This is reflected by his choice of wheels, which is a Hindustan Ambassador, an iconic car that is no longer in production. The stately Ambassador’s back seat has hosted the behinds of the Indian polity’s movers and shakers, and is known to be a very comfortable place to be in.