Unlucky 13 for Krishna

Published: Sep 09, 2009, 07:10 IST | B V Shiva Shankar |

The minister accused of splurging on a five-star suite moves to free government boarding, and his new room number doesn't look very exciting

The minister accused of splurging on a five-star suite moves to free government boarding, and his new room number doesn't look very exciting

Foreign Minister S M Krishna spent just Rs 7,500 a day on his hotel room, and not Rs 1 lakh, his advisor told MiD DAY late last night.

Krishna and his deputy Shashi Tharoor were embarrassed into moving out of their luxury hotels following finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's call for austerity.

Reports said Krishna had stayed at the presidential suite at the Maurya Sheraton, in New Delhi, paying a rent of Rs 1 lakh a day.

Raghavendra Shastri, Krishna's advisor, said, "That's not true. He stayed in a simple room that cost Rs 7,500 a day. He stayed alone there when his family was in Bangalore."

Krishna has been abroad most of the time after he took over as minister for external affairs in May, and he stayed in the hotel only for 24 days, Shastri said.

The hotel and it's customers: Hotel Maurya Sheraton (left) in Delhi where S M Krishna (right) and Shashi Tharoor were reportedly staying. The media made a huge hue and cry about the government funds being used

Rent-free room

Krishna has now moved to Room 13 at the Foreign Service Institute, where he need not pay any rent. The number is considered unlucky by many.

In contrast, Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Khrage, also from Karnataka, is staying at the simple but comfortable Karnataka Bhavan.

A source close to Kharge said, "Kharge never yearns for luxury rooms at five star hotels."

Kharge has been allotted government quarters at No 9 Safdarjung Road. He is waiting for it to be renovated before moving in.

Not accessible

Coming down heavily on Krishna and Tharoor, Constitution expert Prof Raviverma Kumar said, "Ministers are public servants and must stay at a government guest house so that the public can approach them."

P M Narendra Swamy, minister for women and child development, Karnataka, said, "I am not averse to the idea of staying at five-star-hotels in a personal capacity. But as a minister, I would prefer a government guest house so that I can be in touch with the public."

Whatte Devarji!
Coffee Day boss picks up the tab

B G Siddhartha, founder of the Café Coffee Day chain, picked up the bill for his father-in-law Krishna's stay at the Maurya Sheraton.  A coffee planter from Karnataka's Chikmagalur district, Siddhartha is a behind-the-scenes operator for the Karnataka minister.

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