September 8, 2009 2:55:55 pm
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday asked External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his deputy Shashi Tharoor to vacate their five-star hotel suites.
Krishna and Tharoor have been staying in five-star hotels in national capital for the past three months in the absence of official accommodation.
While Krishna was staying at ITC Maurya,Tharoor was lodged in the Taj Mahal Hotel. The media had criticized both ministers for not moving into their official residences. Krishna,a Rajya Sabha member,was earlier allotted the residence of former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh at 19,Teen Murti Lane. However,he found the house in a poor state and ordered it to be renovated.
On becoming External Affairs Minister,Krishna got himself a bungalow allotted on Thyagaraja Marg,which again is said to be under renovation. Tharoor an M P from Thiruvananthpuram was initially offered accommodation in Kerala House after the polls but is said to have turned it down. He has since been allotted a house in Lodhi Estate,which is under renovation.
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According to sources,Krishna is staying at the Mauryas Presidential Suite of the hotel on the 16th floor. The suites tariff is said to be on request. In other words,theres no declared tariff for the four Presidential suites in the hotel,which have had guests like US President George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Hospitality industry experts feel that the room tariff is in the range of Rs 1 lakh plus per night,although it can be negotiated.
Earlier,Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said the minister is paying on his own and nothing is being paid by the ministry. He is in the hotel because he doesnt have official accommodation.
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