Media pressure may be why cricket legend and newly nominated Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar turned down the government’s offer of a five-bedroom Lutyens bungalow for free. “I am not keen on staying in any govt bungalow when I am in Delhi for only a few days. I feel it will be a waste of taxpayers’ money and will be better if it is allotted to someone who needs it more than me,” he told a TV channel on Saturday.
Questions are being raised after reports, quoting government sources, said Tendulkar has been allotted 5 Tughlak Lane, a sprawling Type VII bungalow, within just a few days after taking oath to the Upper House on June 4. It is located right opposite 12 Tughlaq Lane: the official residence of Congress party general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi. Type VII houses are a prize catch, normally allotted to Cabinet rank ministers. Incidentally, other celebrities nominated to the upper house at the same time as Tendulkar — like the Bollywood siren of yesteryears, Rekha — have not been considered for a government bungalow, big or small.