Congress president Sonia Gandhi was said to be upset that Union ministers S.M. Krishna and Shashi Tharoor had been staying in hotels when there were expressive instructions to all party leaders to go on an austerity drive.
It was at her directive that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee instructed the duo to move out of their hotel rooms.
The Congress president also issued instructions that the two leaders pay the hotel bill out of their own pocket.
“I have requested both the ministers to vacate the hotel rooms and go to their respective bhavans,’’ Mukherjee had said on Tuesday.
Gandhi’s strong reaction against the two staying in luxury hotels has had a salutary effect.
On Wednesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal, who was to lead a parliamentary goodwill delegation to Egypt and Greece, has called off the trip to save money for the exchequer. The 10-member delegation was to leave on September 28 for an eight-day visit.
Gandhi had last month unveiled a drought code for her colleagues. She had directed the party MPs and legislators to donate 20 per cent of their salary for a year starting September 1.
The move underlined that Congressmen should not only put less burden on the exchequer but also put money into it.
In an emphasis on her austerity drive, Gandhi has refused to hold an iftar in the past few years because people were battling either drought, flood or natural disaster.