Snapshot – The humble Hindustan Ambassador is no longer the preferred ride of politicians of a country that now plays host to the most luxurious cars of the world. The car isn’t even built anymore, and why would the set of people who decide what India drives be left behind? Politicians in India have moved on, and now use cars and SUVs that the man on the street can only dream of. With that, the spartan ways of socialism has given way to full blooded capitalism. What moves Indian political heavyweights? Here are some answers.
Narendra Modi and his BMW 7-Series Security Edition
The Indian prime minister and former Gujarat strongman, Narendra Modi, has moved on from the Mahindra Scorpio to the BMW 7-Series Security Edition.
The move to the flashier set of wheels came about due to security protocol that required the Indian prime minister to travel in a car that is in tune with international safety and security standards.
Like Mr. Modi, Arving Kejriwal has traded the humble Maruti Suzuki WagonR for a larger and more comfortable Toyota Innova.
The Innova is one of the most reliable people movers in the country, and one that finds takers in both the family MPV and the taxi segments.
When he’s not seen driving his Honda CR-V, replete with his entourage of pet dogs, Rahul Gandhi’s set of four wheels vary from the Tata Safari to the Lexus LX470, and sometimes even to the Toyota Land Cruiser or the Fortuner.
[Image courtesy NDTV]
Omar Abdullah is political blue blood as far as Kashmir is concerned and this seems to show in the man’s choice of wheels. A Range Rover is what transports the youngest among the illustrious clan of Abdullah politicians. Omar Abdullah retained his Rangie even when he was the chief minister of the strife torn frontier state of Jammu and Kashmir.
India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley also happens to be a well known lawyer. Lawyers, as you might have guessed, make big money, especially if they’re heavy weights in the legal field. Arun Jaitley is one of them and has cars with BMW, Mercedes Benz and Porsche badges. His daily ride though, is the rugged and reliable Toyota Fortuner.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and one of the most powerful women of the world, is seen in either a Tata Safari of a Range Rover luxury SUV. The Safari is usually used for campaigning duties while the Range Rover comes in handy for traveling in the capital city of Delhi.
Movie star turned politician, J. Jayalalithaa has just been acquitted from a disproportionate assets case. A Tamil Nadu’s chief minister who has served multiple terms, the iron lady of the south has now traded her bullet proof Mitsubishi Pajero and Montero SUVs for another bullet proof SUV, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.
Priyanka Gandhi, another political blue blood and the sister of Rahul Gandhi, is yet to enter active politics. However, this Gandhi is a regular in the campaigning circuit, with the Tata Safari being the chosen means of conveyance. When she travels with her husband Robert Vadra, the Safari is replaced by the Range Rover.
Mamata Banerjee is one of those rare politicians who has been able to shun luxurious automobiles for the longest. This lady of the Bengal, who is also the current chief minister of the state, has traded her trust Maruti Suzuki Zen for a larger vehicle, in this case the Toyota Innova.
[Images courtesy Sulekha & Team-BHP]
Known for spewing vitriol and wit in equal measure, Raj Thackeray is in the midst of political irrelevance in his home state of Maharashtra. However, his business interests see him drive about in flashy sets of wheels. One day it is the Mercedes Benz S-Class, while other days see the likes of the Audi Q7 and the Toyota Land Cruiser.