Sumitra Mahajan, Former Lok Sabha speaker, had opted to buy a Jaguar XE sedan back in 2016 as her official conveyance, but found it “uncomfortable”. The car now lies idle in Parliament garage.
In 2016, the then-Lok-Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan wanted to opt for a new official vehicle for her term, and chose a Jaguar luxury car for the job. The Lok Sabha secretariat bought a brand-new Jaguar XE Portfolio, costing Rs. 48.25 lakh, for her official use. Sadly, the car has harldy been used in the three-year period, mostly lying parked in Parliament Garage for a majority of its life.
According to a recent report by ThePrint, Mahajan had only briefly used the Jaguar during her term as Lok Sabha speaker, from 2016 to 2019, preferring to rather drive around in the previous office vehicle, a Toyota Camry. The primary reason for the switch-back was that Mahajan found the vehicle “uncomfortable”. She was quoted saying:
“I don’t have much understanding of cars. My only concern was that it should be comfortable for me to get in and sit. There were two Jaguar models that I saw but what was finally bought was different from the one that I had chosen.”
“I found it [Jaguar XE] very uncomfortable to get in and sit in the backseat because of limited leg space. So, I stopped using it after some time. Maybe the car is fine for people driving it themselves but not for somebody like me.”
The present Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, has also opted for a new official vehicle for his term, a Toyota Camry hybrid. While the car still costed Rs. 36.74 lakh, it does seem like a more sensible choice than the entry-level Jaguar sedan. Seeing how Mahajan preferred the Toyota Camry over the Jaguar XE, it doesn’t come as a surprise that her successor to the office did the same. Toyota Camry is an extremely practical vehicle, offering oodles of interior space, while not costing as much as its European competitors. With the hybrid powertrain under the hood, the new Camry is also quite environment-friendly.
ThePrint also reported that since 2001, the cost of vehicles had been increasing by leaps and bounds for the Lok Sabha speakers until 2019. During this period, five different cars have served as conveyance for the office. These include a Hindustan Ambassador (Rs. 3.91 lakh), a Honda Accord (Rs. 14.7 lakh), a Toyota Camry (Rs. 21 lakh), a Jaguar XE (Rs. 48.25 lakh), and lastly a Toyota Camry Hybrid (Rs 36.74), which is currently in use.