Harper India Visit: Top-Rate Secruity Car Offered To Canadian Prime Minister, Indian Government Says

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STEPHEN HARPER INDIA CAR
Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper (L) chats with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on November 6, 2012. Stephen Harper is on a six day state visit to India till November 9. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN | Getty Images

NEW DELHI - The Indian government is refuting a claim by Canadian officials that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wasn't offered a top-rate security vehicle during his visit.

Harper has been using two armoured cars with Ontario plates while in India -- something he has only done in Afghanistan and Haiti before.

He arrived at the president's official residence today for an official welcoming ceremony in one of the vehicles - a Ford SUV.

A Canadian official explained Monday that he had been offered the use of a vintage-looking Hindustan Motors Ambassador car.

But an Indian bureaucrat with the Ministry of External Affairs told The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity that Harper had been offered an armoured Mercedes for his entire visit -- with the exception of a stop in Bangalore where it was the state government taking care of his car.

The official also noted that the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sometimes brings his own vehicles abroad too.

The RCMP, which is in charge of Harper's security arrangements, would only say it makes its decisions after evaluating current events and locations.

There was no immediate information about how the vehicles were transported to India and at what cost.<

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