NEW DELHI: For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cost-cutting seems to be his topmost personal priority. No wonder, during technical halts in the course of foreign visits, he opts to rest and take a bath at airport terminals instead of staying in luxury five-star hotels overnight. Generally, during technical halts or for refuelling the aircraft, PMs and their delegations have been staying at five-star hotels, costing the state exchequer dearly.
Revealing Modi's economic policy, his close aide and Home Minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that Modi decided not to stay at luxury hotels while halting in the night for technical reasons or for refuelling state aircraft during long foreign visits.
"In his personal and public life, Mr Modi has followed a very disciplined regimen. For instance, whenever Mr Modi goes on state visit abroad, he takes less than 20 per cent staff with him. Similarly, for the official delegation, he has discouraged using a large number of cars. Earlier officials were using separate cars.... now they use a bus or a large vehicle," he said.
In his reply to the debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Shah said that security cover of SPG has been misused or its norms have been violated on several occasions by the Gandhi family but Modi, who has been provided state security for the past 20 years, has never violated the security blue book.
"For some, security cover has been a status symbol. For some, security has become a trivial issue where norms are violated at will. But let's follow the example of Modiji who adheres to the security norms and protocols," the Home Minister said.
When Congress member Gaurav Gogoi said that PM Modi violated the SPG blue book during a seaplane ride in Gujarat in 2017, Shah denied that any rules were violated by the Prime Minister.
"The seaplane was thoroughly checked and cleared by the SPG and SPG personnel were deployed inside the seaplane. Besides. the objective of ride was to promote tourism in Gujarat. It was not a personal fun ride," said Amit Shah as the bill was passed by the lower house.