For over three months now, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is at ITC’s Maurya on Sardar Patel Marg and his junior Shashi Tharoor at Hotel Taj Mahal on Man Singh Road. Both pay their own bills but neither of them — nor the hotels — say how much they have paid so far.
According to their poll affidavits, Krishna has assets worth Rs 18 crore and Tharoor Rs 15 crore. The ostensible reason for their five-star stay is that their “official accommodation” is not ready.
When Krishna entered Rajya Sabha in the UPA’s last term, he was 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 so renovation was ordered. On becoming External Affairs Minister, Krishna got himself a bungalow allotted on Thyagaraja Marg which again is under renovation.
In the case of Tharoor, he was offered accommodation in Kerala House after the polls but is said to have turned it down. He’s been allotted a house in Lodhi Estate which is getting “done up”. His office says the Minister plans to move next week — a good 100 days after the new government took charge.
It’s learnt that Krishna is checked in at the Maurya’s Presidential suite on the 16th floor. The suite’s tariff, hotel staff said, is “on request.” In other words, there’s no declared tariff for the four Presidential suites in the hotel which have had guests like US President George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Industry insiders say the room tariff is in the range of Rs 1 lakh plus per night although “it can be negotiated.”
Hotel staff said Krishna meets people in the hotel’s coffeeshop, The Pavilion. Today, he met Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal there.
Maurya’s general manager (corporate communications) Richa Sharma was sent a questionnaire but she said the hotel could not “disclose any information about the guests.” Krishna’s office, too, did not respond to a questionnaire.
However, MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said that the minister “is paying on his own and nothing is being paid by the ministry.” He is in the hotel because “he doesn’t have official accommodation,” the spokesperson said.
Tharoor has been staying in a Taj suite since he moved to Delhi as the minister, staff said, and the lowest tariff for suites in the Taj Man Singh is Rs 40,000 per night (executive balcony suite). However, these rates can be negotiated, said hotel staff.
The hotel’s director (public relations) Sanjukthaa Roy was sent an e-mail questionnaire to which she said: “Regret we will not be able to participate in this story. I hope you will understand.”
Tharoor’s office was sent a questionnaire and he replied: “I am staying in a hotel because my allotted accommodation is not ready for occupancy.
“The CWC discussion on austerity occurred well after I had already checked in and at a time when my move to my residence was supposed to be imminent, so it made no sense to move elsewhere in the interim. My stay costs the taxpayer nothing since I am paying the bills from my own savings after a lifetime of international work.”
I am not sure about Krishna, but Tharoor's slate is squeaky clean. He is spending his OWN hard earned money at his own sweet will, what wrong as he done? In contrast, his detractors are corrupt individuals who eat up thousands of crores of the government's money and we don't seem to mind that. When Mayawati spent over 2000 crore rupees to erect her statues in a drought hit state we all could well sit quiet, eh? Stop criticizing Tharoor. If at all India has a future in the new world, it will be so only because of the honest efforts of pioneers and academicians like Tharoor. Do you really see a future with Mayawati, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Karunanidhi? If you do, you need to question your conscience and beliefs.
I think it is high time that for an MP and MLA post, candidates should write an exam to exhibit their skills in governance. The exams should be governed by a independent body of elite academicians.
In a time of drought, we should commend two well-off Indians for spending their own money and staying at hotels in Delhi. The ITC group (which owns the Maurya) and its thousands of Indian employees are grateful. The Indian government, which collects huge amounts taxes on 5-star hotel stays, should also be grateful. So why are the newspapers complaining? Do they not want hotels, employees, and government to benefit? Who benefits if the two ministers stay in government accommodation instead? We need to understand that spending money creates employment,and excess austerity leads to poverty. Maybe we should send some of these journalists on Economics courses. Or we can follow their twisted logic to its conclusion; given the drought, we should be austere and stop buying newspapers!
Such a simple story -- yet no other newspaper or channel bothered to report it. Thank you IE. The two ministers should be ashamed of themselves. OK you may have earned crores in the UN, but how will you ever work for the common public if you continue to live in an ivory tower? 100 days and yet accommodation is not ready? How many crores are you wasting in the renovation work and is that from your own money?
Yeah, I guess, this is an insane reporting... if it is mentioned that they are paying for their own hotel bills,then what is somebody else's problem and where does this question of tax come into picture? I am unable to comprehend the point of reporting this article. Is it just that, two statesmen staying in 5 star hotels with their own money???... there must be some sense in media people while they are reporting...
Indian Express should also expose the millions of rupees wasted on the flowers put in front of the PM/ President's Tables during conferences and seminars. why is the need to waste so much money on flowers?by the way,Earlier I wanted to be an IAS officer but now I want to be an External Affairs Minister.
People cross flooded river with loads on shoulders and babies in hand by a rope under their feet to walk on and another over their heads to hold on(in Kandhmal, Orissa), while their leaders stay in five-star hotels to serve them!What message does this give and what ideal does it set?Whether the government pays, or they pay for the stay - both give the message of social injustive and inequity in this country where we dreamt of establishing swaraj and sarvodaya.
Sir,it is an irony of the indian democracy where neo-rajas enjoy their life to the fullest!.Otherwise ,is it a democracy worth emulating?I do n't think so.See the ministers in present UPA govt.Most of them are involved in inefficient governance in their home state as minister or others,some are part of some scam directly or indirectly.The cases of Mr Krishna and Mr Tharoor are probably known to the literate of the country.Poor Indians!Let the G...God save the country!.
We should not make such a hue and cry for few ministers staying in fivr star hotel.As per tradition we have always authorized these politicians to waste taxpayers money.So it is their prerogative to choose the way they like to waste the money,this way or that way.
Its clear from the report that both of them have declared their assets worth crores.Why bother when they pay their bills? They have paid taxes too just like us for the money they declared as election candidates.And for the gentleman who thinks the amount of money should be spent on the poor, more expensive hotels do exist, and Indians do stay there... why dont you stand with a placard and advice them to spend it on the poor?Would you dare to talk to Indian Businessmen to refrain from using expensive facilities? I guess this is insane reporting and media should concentrate more on millions being lapsed every year on projects across the country, than who spends what!
Whats wrong if they live in Taj and Maurya.they are the external affairs ministers in the govt of india and end up meeting many foreign diplomats and officials. if they live in squander then what image is india going to convey to the world? we are one of the strongest economies in the world today and if we have to rpoject that in its all its essence then show business is part of the deal. we cant live with socialist ideals in the present day world where our country aspires to be the next super power even though a soft one.
Staying in a 5star hotel even for a day is unthinkable for most of us. how ould these two ministers afford to stay there for more than 100 days. what is the source o their income? Will the income tax department investigate?
May be these politicians have now claimed that they paid from their pockets. But what about the so called 'repairs' being done to their houses. Is it also being turned into a 5 star accomodation by CPWD at our expense. How is it possible that a house occupied by a former minister is "unfit to be occupied". I request Indian express to do a story on the living standards of politicians in their official residences.
It is difficult to believe that an Indian politician, from congress pays anything from his pocket. It appears to be a coverup since the story broke out. Even if they are believed to be paying their own costs, who foots the bill for their retinue? And what about their plans to 'refurbish' their already palatial government houses? As some have rightly pointed out, many politicians continue to hold on to their government accomodation long after they have lost the right to do so. Time and again people read about eviction orders served on these worthies but to no effect. The whole scenario stinks. When eventually these two maharajas pay their bill, people have a right to know how they pay to confirm their claims of paying from their pocket. People have simply do not trust these fellows anumore..
I bet the govt is footing the bills of these two ministers. And the bills are indirectly being paid by you
This is insane.. if a person is bearing his/her cost, he is free to do wateva he wants with his money, you are no1 to moral police him on how he should spend.. and also all those morons commenting here.. have u ever read economics.. if they stop spending how will the demand be generated.. hotels need business too and in these turbulent times if sum1 pays for presidential suites, good for them, good for employees... economy rule: when one person earns 4 others providing him services earn and so on and on.. thts called multiplier effect.. so think before you comment.. pathetic journalism...
WHY THIS HUE AND CRY? WE SHOULD KNOW WHERE THE GOVT. IS WASTING OUR TAX MONEY. ALSO, PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THE EX-MINISTERS AND EX-MPs OVERSTAYING IN THE ACCOMODATIONS ALLOTED TO THEM ON SOME SILLY EXCUSES. IF A TENANT OVERSTAYS, THE LANDLORD WOULD THROW THE TENANT OUT. THEN WHY IS GOVT. OF INDIA BEING SUCH A POOR LANDLORD AND ALLOWING THEM TO OVERSTAY? I UNDERSTAND SOME PEOPLE OVERSTAY FOR YEARS AND EVEN UTILIZE THE FACILITIES AND STAFF! THROW THOSE BUM ON THE STREET FIRST.
Our UPA ministers are living up to their expectations from the voters who voted them to power.Both these ministers who are now staying in Five star hotels for 100 days @appr 1 lakhs per day should understand that even after independence > 60 % of the people are living under poverty line and does not basic amenities in life.Just for the sake of coming to power the UPA has talked of Aam Admi and fooled the country.The life style of these ministers is enough how much they live up to the expectation of the common man.If our countrymen are still carried away with the empty slogans of Congressman then GOD save this country.
As any normal citizen i was outraged,thinking that taxpayers bear the bills of these blokes.Now that it has been made clear that both the ministers are paying from there pocket its upto them.They could have done without such ostentation.The message sent out to the AAM AADMI is that nobody cares for him.Dont know why this hue and cry and drawing ones own conclusions.Atleast the ministry was not asked to pay for there luxury as Rudy as Civil Aviation minister asked the AAI GOA to pay the bills to TAJ GOA for a holiday with his family.The whole episode came to light when TAJ wrote to the ministry that the AAI has refused to pay up after 1 month of the stay as asked by the minister.Poor guy had to pay up.Thanks to Mr Vajpayee taking execption to his conduct.MMS can well ask these guys to observe austerity in these times of economic hardships.Just unacceptable.
Whats the problem in Tharoor staying in Taj with his own money? Atleast he is not spending govt money on non-sense issue. It is our indian nature to find faults in other. Pathetic
If I remember properly after relinquishing the office of the President of India,late Shankar Dayal sharma asked for re-furnishing the house which he was to stay in the later part of his life which cost the govt.30 lakhs or so,as also Krishna Kant, VP also asked for the modification and re-furnishing. When things are such, what is wrong in two ministers, that also people without whose service India will doom, staying in 5-6-7 star hotels for short period of 2-3 or 5 years till they get their accommodation properly serviced. Can't India afford even this much money? Try to get elected as an MP or MLA, then you will know the depth of pain and the sincerity they have towards the motherland.At least be happy, they are not asking for permission to stay in some states in UK,US,Switzerland and a private aero-plane for their daily trips to the parliament.You do not know how great these people are, very bad.When the slogan "Hamara Bharat Mahan"turned to "Mera Bharat Mahan"condition will be this
The life lived by Krishna and Shashi Taroor in New Delhi is nothing compared to the life lived in Nagpur,by some of the wise sons and sagas of Bharat-Mata and all this free of charge without paying any thing. The vegetable thali made of pure ghee is simply out of this world. I should know, I have tasted it.
The ministers may be paying from their own pocket but we are missing the broader story of this. Definetly these hotels might have given them rooms on discounted rates or free of charge to ministers expecting favours from external ministry which has lots of visitors round the year from across the globe. Otherwise ministers should have stayed in Government owned India Tourism Development corporation Hotels which has many good hotels in New Delhi and in that way atleast India should have got some help from their own pockets.
Comments on articles, I feel should actually enlighten the readers further. Here it seems the forum is used to denigrate 'Indians'. Why shouls these people waste their time in such unnecessary comments? Or is it their past-time?
Though you can not evaluate a person's capability or will to do good for nation by judging at where he lives..Kings used to live in palaces, but still they used to visit their subjects in disguise and was ready to understand their feelings by being one among them literally...Still Modern times rulers need to be simple in whatever they do... How many of the Present Congressmen visited Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.. where Gandhiji lived after coming back from South Africa... There are two ways for congressmen one is of Gandhiji's way