Sachin Tendulkar has refused to accept the government bungalow offered to him in the national capital after he was sworn in as a Rajya Sabha MP. Reports suggest the new parliamentarian has taken this decision because he does not want to burden the government and because he won't be able to spend much time in Delhi given his packed cricket schedule.
"I am not keen on staying in any government bungalow when I will be in Delhi for only a few days. I feel this would be a waste of tax payers' money and it would be better if the bungalow is allotted to someone else who needs the bungalow more than me," the Press Trust of India quoted him as telling a private TV channel.
Sachin has reportedly been offered a colonial-era bungalow in Delhi which has five-bedrooms and large lawns. He has also been offered 24-hour security and two escort vehicles. The cricketer was nominated to the Upper House in April and was sworn in as a member earlier this week.
"He has been offered a bungalow allotted mostly to ministers and senior MPs," an unnamed official told the Times of India on Friday, adding that the house would be renovated before the next parliamentary session begins in about a month.
Sachin Tendulkar, who is worshipped by millions of avid cricket fans across India, is the first active sportsman to be nominated to the Upper House. His appointment attracted some criticism from the press and opposition lawmakers who described it as a "crass populist" move by a struggling government.
The 39-year-old no longer plays international Twenty20 cricket but is still one of the world's leading One-Day International and Test match players and competed in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
When he was sworn in on Monday, he said he would continue to concentrate on cricket. "I am a nominee. I did not go to anyone asking to be a Rajya Sabha member. It's an honour and I accept that with respect. But I am here because of my cricket. I can't take my focus away from cricket," he had said.