NEW DELHI: P Chidambaram preferred to take a commercial flight for the third time while on an official tour to Chennai after becoming the Home
minister unlike his predecessor Shivraj Patil who flew only in special aircraft.
Chidambaram took a budget airline rather than flying first class, for which he is entitled, to inaugurate Bharat Kalachar Mahotsav in the Tamil Nadu capital. And, the Home Minister travelled without any of his personal assistant.
After taking over the charge of the Home Ministry, Chidambaram flew out of Delhi for the first time to Mumbai on December 5 for an assessment of the situation following the terrors trikes on November 26.
On December 8, the Home Minister went to Kolkata to review the law and order scenario in West Bengal. On both the occasions, he took commercial flights, sources said.
Shivraj Patil, during his four and half years tenure as Home Minister rarely travelled in a commercial plane for official work, sources said.
Patil used BSF aircraft -- mostly an Embraer -- which is at the disposal of the Home Ministry.
"Taking a special plane involves a reasonable cost which Chidambaram is avoiding. Besides, the tradition of a big team of senior officials and staff accompanying the Home Minister was also dispensed with by the new Minister," a Home Ministry official said.