Yediyurappa to ride in comfort across Karnataka, buys Toyota Vellfire
BS Yediyurappa, the former chief minister of Karnataka has bought a new seven-seater Toyota Vellfire, a hybrid electric car, which costs about ₹1.06 crores in Bengaluru. People aware of the developments said the vehicle has been bought to ensure comfortable travel, mainly for the purpose of mustering support for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s return to power in the next assembly elections, slated for 2023, in the state.
“After stepping down (as chief minister), he (Yediyurappa) has returned all the official cars and will now use this which is more comfortable,” said one person aware of the developments, requesting not to be named.
Yediyurappa spent about a week in Maldives and returned to Bengaluru on Sunday. On July 26, before he resigned as Karnataka CM, he vowed to work to bring the BJP back to power in the state. Two days later he was replaced by Basavaraj Bommai on July 28. He had also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda for letting him continue in the top post despite his age (78) crossing BJP’s threshold for holding public positions.
The person cited above added that earlier the 78-year-old had the option of travelling by a helicopter to distant places in a short span of time but after his stepping down, he has to depend on by-road travel for his engagements.
Other former chief ministers’ association with luxury cars, too, has resulted in controversies in Karnataka in the past.
Yediyurappa had to return a Toyota Landcruiser gifted to him by minister and industrialist Murugesh Nirani when the former was the state BJP president in 2016. It was meant for Yediyurappa to travel to drought-hit districts in the state. His critics had then hit out alleging there was dissonance in the luxurious nature of the vehicle and the tragedy engulfing poor people in the state.
“Don’t compare it (the cost of the vehicle) with drought,” Yeddyurappa said at the time (April 16, 2016), as reported by the Press Trust of India.
The Vellfire, purchased now, has an ultra luxurious interior with especially designed recliner seats that are considered very comfortable for long journeys.
Yediyurappa’s predecessors like HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah too have courted controversies by travelling in high-end cars during their term in office.
Kumaraswamy’s Range Rover was his vehicle of choice while he was the chief minister.
Siddaramaiah was “given” a Toyota Landcruiser by his cabinet colleague KJ George first and later another Mercedes SUV by Congress leader Byrathi Suresh.