Why this great Austerity show off?

By Sanchit on Wednesday, September 16, 2009

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congress austerityThe media is obsessed these days with the great austerity drive by Congress. Everyone is flying economy, Dumping private jets and travelling by train to save money (show off??) for the drought hit nation. Until today I thought though it is a populist move its still good and beneficial for the "common man" until I got to know how much money is actually saved by these acts. Certainly another move by congress aiming at the MH and HARYANA assembly elections. Read the article below-

Is the great austerity drive by the Congress actually taxing the nation? Sometimes you need a lot of money to keep some people poor. Look at the economy class flights of Sonia Gandhi and some ministers. The Congress president flew economy class from Delhi to Mumbai in a commercial airliner and again on economy class from Mumbai to Bangalore on Tuesday, this time flying the King of Good Times.

But look at the great economy measures:

When Sonia Gandhi flies economy, two rows of seats are blocked. Nobody can sit next to her. For example, on the Delhi-Mumbai IC 887 flight, she occupied seat 3A as it had more leg space. But 3B,C, D, and E were deliberately left vacant for security reasons. On 3F was Defence Minister A K Antony. Behind the party president were security personnel occupying six seats.

This mean 10 seats were occupied by the entourage. This could have been given to the aam admi who cannot afford flying Business Class. Moreover, the front seats are kept for the handicapped or aged people who need to stretch their legs.

A quick calculation has shown that the savings could not be more than Rs 10,000.
In the Mumbai-Bangalore flight, a British national was found sitting on the same row of Sonia Gandhi and this has raised security concerns. Moreover, another flight goes in advance taking the Congress party president's car and belongings. On landing, Sonia Gandhi is accompanied by a fleet of cars and SUVs.

The same is the case with Rahul Gandhi's rail yatra to Ludhiana. The passengers were inconvenienced due to the high security measures and at the end of the taxing journey, Rahul saved Rs 445.

But does the money saved actually go to the people affected by drought? What should be done is that if Sonia saved Rs 10,000 and Rahul Rs 445 in one trip, that amount should be given to the worst affected families in drought-hit areas so that these poor people could live for another day.

In the austerity loop is External Affairs Minister S M Krishna who announced on Sunday that he will not take private aircraft and travel on commercial flights for his overseas trips while his colleague Sharad Pawar after some initial resistance flew economy class in a private airline.

But Krishna raised a crucial issue: He said it has to be kept in mind that ministers should be able to attend meetings after long journeys. "The austerity steps need to be looked into in a larger perspective. If a Cabinet minister has to travel for 15 hours, it needs to be kept in mind that after such a long journey he should be able to attend immediate meetings," Krishna told Star News.

Aware of the fact that the austerity drive is becoming a tamasha, the Congress on Monday cautioned against "trivialising" the party's emphasis on austerity by limiting its scope to travel only."The Congress president's simplicity is not a new thing for this country, neither for the people, nor for you. There is nothing to be surprised at (her travel in economy class). To be austere should not be reduced to one line of travel. It is a way of thinking, a way of living and an approach. In difficult times, it is necessary," AICC spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said at a press briefing in Delhi.


2 comments for this post

Dude.. I am still sure this is all a hogwash. Lets wait for 2-3 months and see what these guys are upto.

Posted on September 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM  

@ paritosh

Exactly. Its not even a hog wash as they are not even saving anything. On the contrary its causing more annoyance to the "aam aadmi" as congress likes to call it!!

Posted on September 17, 2009 at 3:39 PM  

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