Passengers of a city bus - which ferries women for free - in Chennai were in for a surprise on Saturday when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin hopped onto a public bus and asked the women about the free travel plan for them.
MK Stalin boarded the bus at Kannagi Nagar on his way to inspect a few vaccination centres organised as part of the sixth mega inoculation drive.
"The Chief Minister inspected the bus and spoke to women about the free travel scheme the DMK government announced a few months ago soon after coming to power," a statement from the state government said.
தி. நகர் - கண்ணகி நகர் வழித்தட பேருந்தில் மாண்புமிகு முதலமைச்சர் @mkstalin அவர்கள் திடீரென ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்டு, பெண்களிடம் மகளிருக்கான இலவச பேருந்து பயண திட்டம் குறித்து கேட்டறிந்தார். pic.twitter.com/QbKwZKpB3i— CMOTamilNadu (@CMOTamilnadu) October 23, 2021
A video released by the state government shows the Chief Minister's convoy stopping and MK Stalin crossing the road and boarding the bus on the other side.
Surprised passengers were seen greeting him with folded hands and some women even clicked selfies with the Chief Minister. He was also seen speaking to a few of them briefly.
Ahead of the festive season the state government permitted 100% occupancy in buses except those travelling to neighbouring Kerala. The state government also further extended the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on Saturday till November 15 but allowed some relaxation. The ban on festivals and political events will, however, continue.
Tamil Nadu on Saturday reported 1,040 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the overall tally to 26,94,089. The number of fatalities mounted to 36,004 with 17 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours.