September 11, 2009 2:20:19 am
Two days after a report in The Indian Express led to the government asking External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Minister of State Shashi Tharoor to vacate their suites in five-star hotels,Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said he believed a politician has a duty to lead an austere life at all times.
I dont think there is a phase when there should be austerity measures and another phase when you shouldnt have austerity measures, Rahul said in Chennai when asked to comment on ministers living in luxury at a time their party and government have given clear calls for austerity. As a politician,one has the duty to be austere anyway.
The young Congress leader also said that he had no such problems himself as I generally tend to keep myself austere,pointing to the white kurta-pyjama he was wearing.
I dont go through phases… I dont really get interested in these kind of things, he said.
If the Congress icons words are set to add to the discomfiture of Krishna and Tharoor,the opposition BJP that is obviously enjoying itself added insult to injury.
In context of Tharoors statement justifying his stay at a suite in the Taj Mahal hotel for the past 100 days saying he wanted a gym and some privacy,the BJP advised that the minister could use the gym for MPs at the Constitution club.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy,who himself claimed to be a regular visitor of the gym apart from being the secretary of the club,said: There is a reasonably good gym at the Constitution Club. If not better than the five-star hotels,it has a comparable facility.
Regarding Tharoors excuse of privacy,he said: The minister should quit his job if he wants privacy.
Rudy also said the five-star stay of the ministers exposed the double-standards of the Congress. On the one hand,it is talking about austerity and on the other senior ministers are staying at five-star hotels, he said and demanded an inquiry to find out who paid the hotel bills of Tharoor and Krishna,who was staying at the Maurya Sheraton.
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