Indian National Congress is in News because of its much hyped Austerity Campaign. In this campaign, UPA Government has asked its Members of parliament and union ministers to travel in Economy class instead of usual Business Class and Chartered Planes and also not to stay in five star Hotels. The party is also trying to implement some innovative cost cutting measures to decrease the fiscal deficit in the Central Budget. Going by the Mahatma Gandhi’s way, Congress has been trying to reach the common man and spread the message that it cares for Taxpayer’s money. Congress’ austerity drive campaign got a lot of attention after it was found that two high profile UPA ministers – S M Krishna, Minister of External Affairs, and his deputy Shashi Tharoor – were staying in expensive five-star hotel suits instead of their officially allotted bungalows.
In a country where the hierarchy of politicians is determined by the size of their bungalows and their convoys, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has asked party leaders to give up a fifth of their salaries for drought-relief work. She also traveled in economy class flight to Mumbai to launch the poll campaign and set an example for other party members. Following his mother, Rahul decided not to travel in the executive class of the super fast train when he arrived in Ludhiana to inaugurate a four-day camp of young Congress men. In these days of austerity drives, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has decided to give a go-by to her Iftar party which is normally held on the lawns of the party headquarters at 24 Akbar Road.
But there are several other reasons for these austerity measures as suggested by opposition parties and political commentators in the country. “By travelling in economy class and trains, Congress leaders are staging a drama to conceal their weakness. Wrong economic policies of the Congress government led to inflation which affected poor people of the country.” Mayawati Said. BJP leader and MP Maneka Gandhi is also not happy with this campaign of Congress. She said “If ministers get committed to weed out corruption, I think there would be surely no need for any austerity drive. The one undertaken by the Congress is just a political stunt and holds no significance.” The main reasons behind this Auterity stunt of Congress are Elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, draught affected areas of India etc. Actually the party wants to gain the sympathy of voters from the people of the areas suffering from Draught. What are your opinions on this issue? Do post your comments.