Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday entered his new official residence, said to be the biggest and expensive residence of any chief minister in the country, but drew flak from the opposition.
Accompanied by his wife Shobha Rao, son K.T. Rama Rao, a cabinet minister and other family members, the Chief Minister stepped into the dream house at 5.22 am, amid the chanting of Vedic hymns by a group of priests.
The new complex over 10 acres of land and about one lakh square feet built-up space has come up close to the existing camp office-cum-residence of the chief minister in Begumpet.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, and his wife participated in sudarshana yagnam conducted under the supervision of seer Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.
As part of the griha pravesh (house warming ceremony), the couple performed daiva pravesam, yati pravesam, go pravesam and pravesam (formally entering) ceremonies as per the holy scriptures.
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, his wife Vimala Narasimhan, KCR's daughter and MP K. Kavitha, nephew and state minister Harish Rao and state ministers and top officials attended the ceremony.
Estimated to have been built at a cost of over Rs 40 crore, the complex, named Pragathi Bhavan, comprises the CM's residence, office, conference hall and the two existing buildings.
Soon after forming the first government in newly created Telangana state in 2014, KCR had started work on the new residence.
A firm believer in vaastu, KCR had reluctantly moved into the existing camp office after removing avaastu defects'.
The vaastu advisors of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief had advised him against occupying the existing camp office built in 2004 by then chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy at a cost of Rs.8.10 crore.
KCR considered the building "inauspicious" as Rajasekhara Reddy had reportedly moved in without performing rituals and he died in a helicopter crash a few months after returning to power in 2009. His successor K. Roshaiah also could not complete the term while Kiran Kumar Reddy faced a turbulent time as the last chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The Telangana CM had been using only residential part of the complex both as residence and office but never used the camp office.
KCR, however, is facing flak from the opposition for building a new residence, thus burdening the public exchequer.
Opposition Congress party leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir said KCR was doing a Nero. He said the CM moved into a five-star bungalow with bullet-proof toilet and bedrooms at a time when people were suffering due to demonetisation of high value currency notes.
Shabbir, who is the leader of opposition in state legislative assembly, said KCR moved into the posh new house while his poll promise to build 2.6 lakh double-bed room houses for poor remained unfulfilled.