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It is a pity that in sharp contrast to former President Kalam, Patil has left behind undoubtedly the most lackluster legacy; something which people of India would like to forget soon. (Image: PTI)[/caption]
A wise man from India, whom we know as Bapu
, once rightly said: "The world has enough for everyone's needs, but not everyone's greed."
And it seems former President Pratibha Patil's greed knows no bounds, for at a time when the nation is paying tribute to people's President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, she has sparked yet another controversy by writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) with regard to her vehicle woes. Apparently, one vehicle is not enough for the former President.
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Therefore, Patil has sought the Home Ministry's aid saying that she needs an official vehicle to be at her disposal whenever she travels outside Pune where she is now settled, despite the fact that this will be in violation of rules as she is already using a personal vehicle for which she gets a fuel allowance from the government.
As per the government rules, a former President is entitled to get a car free of charge and shall be paid actual maintenance allowance.
Patil's office and MHA have been exchanging letters with regard to her entitlement for a car and the latest communication between them was on July 3, 2015 when the former wrote to the latter requesting instructions to Maharashtra government to provide an official vehicle whenever she travels outside Pune, or attends official programmes within the city.
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"The former President has been receiving a fuel allowance for her personal vehicle, according to the rules. She, however, now wants an official car as well when she travels outside Pune. Patil is not entitled to both; she has to decide whether she wants a car or the fuel allowance," a Home Ministry official told focusnews.com on the condition of anonymity.
We tried to contact Patil's office in this regard, but our repeated calls went unanswered.
However, this is not the first time the former President has found herself embroiled in a controversy.
Patil's Foreign Visits Controversy
In March 2012, an RTI query revealed that former President Patil's foreign visits cost the public exchequer a whopping Rs 205 crore, surpassing records of all her predecessors. The bill for the use of chartered aircrafts was footed by the Ministry of Defence.
Breaking her silence on the issue, Patil had said: “Foreign trips are serious business. They are indeed beneficial in building the country's image and help in resolving many issues with nations. These visits have been in the context of the growing profile of India at the international level.”
The big question, however, is if she needed her family to 'boost' India's image during her foreign visits.
Patil Land Row
Furthermore, another RTI query disclosed that the former President, blatantly flouting the norms, was allotted classified A1 defence land at Khadki area in Pune for her post-retirement home. The land allotted to her was six times more that she was entitled to. As the pressure mounted on her, Patil was compelled to surrender the land.
It is a pity that in sharp contrast to former President Kalam, Patil has left behind undoubtedly the most lackluster legacy; something which people of India would like to forget soon.