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Sumitra MahajanThe purchase of a Rs 48.25 lakh swanky Jaguar XE as the new official car for Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has raised eyebrows with the opposition Congress on Friday asking her to reconsider using the luxury vehicle.

The Lok Sabha secretariat, however, cited security considerations behind the purchase of the Jaguar car.

When queries on the issue were put at the Congress briefing, party spokesman Manish Tewari said the Speaker should reconsider the matter. Tewari said it was for the Speaker to decide whether it would be “prudent” to go for such a vehicle when one-thirds of the country was facing acute agricultural distress. D Bhalla, Secretary in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, sought to downplay the purchase, maintaining that it was the “most affordable option” among the four-five cars suggested on the basis of security manoeuvrability.

He insisted that the Rs 48.25 lakh vehicle has been bought because of security considerations. “This is not an overnight purchase. It is a decision of the LS secretariat after advice by the security. All information is available on our files. It is a transparent decision,” Bhalla added.