Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Flies Economy Class to Nagpur

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Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta on a Jet Airways flight to Nagpur


Mumbai:  It was a rare sight that greeted passengers at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Sunday afternoon: The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, with his wife and daughter ,travelling with the aam aadmi in economy class. With his state bogged down by a loan of Rs 3 lakh crore, Mr Devendra Fadnavis had kicked off his own austerity measures.

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 an interview to NDTV earlier on Sunday, Mr Fadnavis had said, "RSS upbringing makes me live modestly, simply. It will be the end of Devendra Fadnavis if power goes to my head." (Read: 'No Need of Sanction to Prosecute Corrupt Netas', Says Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis)

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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