Is the Ambassador on the road to extinction? Not yet. There is one section in the country that still swears by it —Bihar’s ministers.
In Bihar, the white Ambassador, with a flashing red light, is still the ultimate symbol of state authority. Last year, 26 new Indigos were provided to members of Nitish Kumar’s ministry, as well as 31 Scorpios for their security staff. It didn’t make them happy.
The ministers maintain the Ambassador still has the best wheels to navigate Bihar’s dreadful roads; it also remains the most abiding symbol of power.
“To the rural masses, the Ambassador remains the ultimate symbol of power that commands unquestioned deference,” said a senior minister, on condition of anonymity.
“The Ambassador is more attuned to the demands of my constituency where roads are still at the renovation stage,” Transport Minister Ajit Kumar said.
No doubt some other states have been jettisoning the official use of the Ambassador. Nostalgia for it, however, persists. A senior Haryana civil servant noted, “No other car can compare with the Ambassador's elegance, roominess and comfort.”
Yet the Haryana government has ruled out buying more Ambassadors for its ministers or officials.