Rahul Gandhi joins austerity bandwagon, travels by train to Ludhiana

Following the example of austerity set by his mother Sonia Gandhi and many other political leaders, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took an early morning four hour Swarn Shatabdi train to Ludhiana to attend a training camp for youth Congress workers.

Rahul Gandhi, in his all time favorite white kurta, reached ten minutes prior the scheduled departure with the his Z-plus security. However, he tried his best to maintain low profile so that the co-passengers won't get disturb. Without disquieting the general movement on the station, he made a quiet entry from one of the entries meant for taking out Indian postal parcels.

His reservation was in 67 waiting lists and later on he was allotted seat number 66 in the first row of the entrance of coach number C-3 a chair car bogie. The first two rows were reserved for his security personnel.

Before Rahul took his seat, the entire coach C-3, was thoroughly checked with the help of sniffer dogs. But even dog at the station knew the bogie was special so it was the first bogie to be checked by the sniffer dog. Only passengers with tickets were allowed to enter the compartment.

No one at the railway station was affected with the movement made by Rahul Gandhi not even the station master nor the police station at the railway station were aware about Rahul's journey. Duty in charge at the police station and New Delhi station master were not been informed about any VIP movement.

But the fellow passenger at the C-3 bogie became were excited as they came to know that Rahul Gandhi would be traveling with them. Retired railway employee Harwant Singh who got the seat very close to Rahul Gandhi in the same coach said, "We were not aware that Rahul would be traveling in the normal AC chair car coach. I am feeling great that a politician of his level has decided to travel with the common man and I hope by doing this he could know what an individual feel."

Another passenger Gagan said, "We heard that Sonia Gandhi last day traveled in economy class and Rahul is following the foot print by commuting in AC chair car. I never heard some VIP doing this before may be this could be a image make over exercise. As a VIP is there in our coach I think there could be some inconvenience keeping his security in mind but that much we have to bear as the journey is of only four hours. But I would try to get a picture clicked with him"

On Monday, Sonia Gandhi travelled in economy class to Mumbai to inaugurate a party office in the city. The mother-son duos are among India's most protected leaders, covered by the elite Special Protection Group (SPG). They normally travel business class in commercial planes or by special aircraft.

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