K J Alphons, newly-appointed minister of state (independent charge) for tourism, reportedly traveled through the ‘economy class’ of Air India flight while the top ministry officials were seated in business class. The bureaucrat-turned-politician was accompanied by senior tourism ministry officials, who were traveling from Delhi to Bhubaneswar through the business class of the same flight. To everyone’s surprise, Alphons got his ticket changed to the economy class from Air India business class, reported the Times of India. As per his habit, Alphons prefers to travel economy class, the report revealed.
Sources were quoted as saying that on the flight, the top ministry officials were seated in business class as per their entitlement, while Alphons took his seat in the economy class.
Alphons was one of the new entrants in recent Cabinet reshuffle. He became PM Narendra Modi’s new man to handle tourism, an area where the NDA government has launched a number of projects over the last two years. Recently commenting on Digital India programme, Alphons, who is also the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, said the programme has the potential to provide an incremental 20-30 per cent increase in Indias GDP by 2025. Several of the flagship projects under the programme have now moved from the planning phase to the execution phase. He said the progress made in these projects and across the three vision areas of Digital India has started to show an impact on the lives of citizens and on businesses, reported PTI.