New Delhi: At a time when the whole nation is mourning the passing away of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, his immediate successor at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Pratibha Patil, is facing criticism for demanding a government vehicle for her personal use.
Pratibha Patil, who is currently residing in Pune, has asked the Union Home Ministry to provide a government vehicle for her travels outside Pune. However, the government rule on the matter clearly states that a former president can either avail fuel allowances if he or she uses personal vehicle or can opt for an official vehicle, but not both.
In her case, Patil's office has demanded both the facilities.
The government rule further says that in case someone wishes to use a personal car, then a monthly allowance equal to the cost of 250 litres of fuel and salary for a driver equivalent to government pay scale is paid.
Reports also claim that she had earlier demanded a bigger vehicle. The request was also rejected as there was no provision in the rules for the same. She later opted for fuel allowances.
According to a Mail Today report, Patil's office had written to MHA on July 3, 2015 requesting instructions to Maharashtra government to provide an official vehicle whenever she travels outside Pune, or attends official programmes within the city.
The additional vehicle is requested for official functions even within the city since her staff always accompanies her.
The letter sent to MHA says that the district administration had been providing an official vehicle whenever she travelled out of Pune.
"We have asked the Maharashtra government to follow the guidelines and act as per the provisions regarding entitlement of a car to a former President," said a home ministry official was quoted as saying by Mail Today.
Meanwhile, as this news broke out, Patil face the heat on Twitter.
Former President Pratibha Patil demands official vehicle even though govt foots her fuel bill. What a contrast with the great APJ!
— Ravi Shankar (@etteth) July 29, 2015
Pratibha Patil wants an extra car for outstation travels. She's doing her bit to pay tributes to Kalam, through juxtaposition.
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) July 29, 2015
Pratibha Patil demands a car, poor lady suffering unnecessarily, why don't give her a Helicopter? Taxpayers hain na paisa dene ko.
— Mohit (@sailorsmoon) July 29, 2015
There are some Presidents who journey to people's hearts.
For everywhere else, there's Pratibha Patil.
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) July 28, 2015