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Yeddyurappa lands in row over luxury vehicle

Days after taking over as Karnataka BJP unit president, B S Yeddyurappa has waded into a controversy over a Rs 1.15 crore swanky SUV given to him by a former minister and loyalist to tour the state.

The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado provided by sugar baron Murugesh Nirani has stirred the hornet’s nest after reports that the seven-seater luxury vehicle would be used by Yeddyurappa to travel around the drought-hit parts, with questions raised about its propriety.

But Yeddyurappa today sought to put a lid on the controversy, saying Nirani had given the SUV to him for party work and “after that, he will take back the car”.

“I am going round the state and for that there is a good vehicle for me. That is what he (Nirani) told me. That I am using. After two years when my period (as party chief) is over, he will take back the vehicle,” he told reporters.

He also said he would not be using the vehicle in the districts during his visit to drought-affected areas.

“Don’t compare it (the cost of the vehicle) with drought,” Yeddyurappa said when asked whether it would be right to use a luxury vehicle to move around in areas reeling under drought.

Nirani has defended his gesture, saying the SUV was not a gift and Yeddyurappa could use it as long as he wants.

The vehicle was being given considering that Yeddyurappa has to travel extensively as state BJP chief and his age is 73 years.

He also said the SUV is in the name of his company and he had purchased it through loan. 
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