Indian state chief slammed for splurging US$7m on new home with bullet-proof bathrooms

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (centre) taking part in a ritual to inaugurate his new home on Nov 24, 2016.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (centre) taking part in a ritual to inaugurate his new home on Nov 24, 2016.PHOTO: AFP
The new home of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
The new home of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An Indian politician is being slammed for spending US$7.3 million (S$10.4 million) of taxpayers money on a palatial new home, built on an ancient architectural system and fitted with bullet-proof rooms.

K Chandrasekhar Rao, chief minister of Telangana, moved to his official residence on Thursday (Nov 24) amid the chanting of religious hymns by priests to ward off bad spirits.

The 100,000-square-feet or 9,000 metre bungalow on a nine-acre plot has a movie theatre for 250 people, a conference hall for 700 people and bullet-proof offices and bathrooms for Rao and his politician son.

But the grand housewarming function did not impress social media users, who criticised Rao for a "criminal waste of money" and enjoying luxury on taxpayers' expense.

"Shame! We've got feudal lords, not leaders. Do we need a French style revolution, for them to get real?" Smiti Mahabir tweeted.

People also hit out at the politician for promoting superstition after his office released videos of the function showing Rao's spiritual guru performing religious rituals and "blessing" his official chair by briefly sitting on it.

The politician is known for favouring Vastu Shastra, an ancient Hindu system of architecture.

Rao is planning to raze the state's main government complex to build a new Vastu compliant one because he believes the present structure is unlucky for the state.

The proposed building will be constructed at an estimated cost of US$52 million.

His government has appointed a full-time Vastu consultant to make all projects conform with the ancient building system.