Deputy Mayor N. Dayanand has faithfully followed the example of the Mayor. Both had nobly espoused austerity — after coming under pressure from the Opposition — about not demanding expensive official cars. And both have backtracked.

While Mayor S.K. Nataraj went back on his promise a month ago with a spanking new Rs. 14 lakh Toyota Corolla Altis, Mr. Dayanand also plumped for the same brand a fortnight ago, sources in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said.

‘Not that expensive'

While the on-road price of the Deputy Mayor's fully fitted new car is also Rs. 14 lakh, Mr. Dayanand brushed it off saying his car was far cheaper. However, The Hindu verified the cost with car dealers.

He defended the purchase saying the budget did not violate the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976 norms. “The old Hyundai Verna [of my predecessor] was not functioning well. The new car is around Rs. 10 lakh, much less than the prescribed Rs. 14 lakh. So there is nothing wrong in what I did,” he said. Meanwhile, sources in the BBMP told The Hindu that the “old Verna” was only four years old and in good condition. Moreover, it had not run much as the BBMP Council had not been formed for a long time.

Opposition Leader M. Nagaraj, who uses an old Ambassador, was critical of the expenditure. “They have just another six months in office and have invested so much money for cars they will use for only for a short period,” he said.

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