Indian state minister criticized for $7.3M new official residence

The "Progress Building" is photographed at night. The new official office and residence of for the chief minister of India's Telangana state drew criticism for the size and cost to taxpayers. Photo courtesy Telangana chief minister's office

HYDERABAD, India, Nov. 26 (UPI) — An Indian state minister moved into a palatial new office and residence built with $7.3 million in taxpayer money amid heavy criticism from opponents this week.

K. Chandrasekhara Rao, chief minister of southern Telangana state, moved into the sprawling 100,000-square-foot residence, which sits on nearly 9 acres of real estate in the city of Hyderabad on Thursday.

The estate, which Rao named the “Progress Building” includes parking for 500, a conference center that holds up to 600, lush gardens, modern amenities and bulletproof bathrooms — a fact that drew considerable derision on social media.

The Bangalor Mirror reported 30 activists were arrested after staging a protest outside the palace Thursday.

Rao held a series of traditional Hindu rituals to bless the palace. The structure was built in accordance with vaastu traditions, a portion of Hinduism analogous to the Chinese concept of feng shui, where the layout of a building and a room are believed to affect its occupants’ fortunes.

Political opponents criticized Rao for the lavish expenditure of public money at a time when many Indians, farmers in particular, are struggling to survive.


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