|Karnataka eyes BMWs with price to match|
|B Sreedhara, Bangalore, July 7, DHNS:|
|The State government has decided to buy three high-end model bullet-proof BMW cars—one each for the chief minister and the governor and the third to be used as and when a foreign dignitary visits Karnataka. If everything goes according to plan, the State government will have three cars at the earliest.|
The government took the decision to acquire the BMWs in view of heightened security. It has called for quotations from various companies manufacturing bullet proof cars. However, the government is willing to buy the BMW high-end model bullet-proof cars, sources said. Each car is likely to cost more than Rs 2 crore.
The immediate reason for the government’s interest in acquiring the BMWs is British Prime Minister David Cameron’s security establishment had expressed displeasure over the car given to him during his visit here last year. The British prime minister’s office wrote a letter to Rashtrapati Bhavan complaining that a good bullet-proof car was not provided to Cameron.
The President’s secretariat subsequently wrote a letter to the government, requesting it to have an exclusive bullet-proof car earmaked for foreign VVIPs.
Faced with a request from Rashtrapati Bhavan, Principal Secretary S V Ranganath recently held an emergency meeting of senior officers. At the meeting, also attended by Home Department Principal Secretary S M Jamdar, it was decided to purchase high-end bullet-proof cars in accordance with instructions from the President’s secretariat.
Besides, the government has invoked the primacy of security reasons for taking a decision in favour of purchasing the bullet-proof BMWs since terrorist organisations are said to closely monitor VVIP movement in the country.
When contacted, Jamdar told Deccan Herald: “We have initiated the process to buy three high-end bullet-proof cars. The proposal to buy the best cars in the world is an old one. The state government has given consent in principal to buy the cars.”
But Jamdar clarified that the state government was “not buying these cars exclusively for the chief minister and the governor.” The chief minister and governor can use these cars continuously or as and when required as they are also considered as VIPs, he said.