The Chief Minister was travelling to Nagpur on a Jet Airways flight. And he had not only opted for a passenger airliner bypassing chartered flights - sources close to him said he also paid for his tickets.
His co-passengers were delighted. "This is happening for the first time in the history of Maharashtra," said Sanjay Pandey, a trader. "Never before has a chief minister travelled on a passenger flight and paid his own expenses. This is a good omen for the state."
At the Centre, the Narendra Modi government has already issued restrictions on bureaucrats travelling first class and also against government functions being organised in five-star hotels. Last week, in a bid to cut down on discretionary spending, the Prime Minister had ordered bureaucrats to forego luxury seats in planes and pay for their spouses' tickets. (Read: PM Modi Boots Officials Out Of The First Class Cabin)
In Nagpur, the first chief minister from the city received a hero's welcome. With the BJP workers pulling all stops - welcome gates, banners and fire crackers - it took him 4 hours to cover a distance that can be done in 20 minutes.
"We are proud of him. We paid for this welcome from our personal funds," said Kaushal Pathak, a party worker.(Read more...)
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