Lok Sabha elections: Facing moral code of conduct, Sitharaman chooses commercial flight over special arrangements

As the Election Commission announced dates for the Lok Sabha Polls today and the model code of conduct came into place, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman avoided taking a special aircraft and chose a to board a commercial flight to New Delhi from Chennai, the party said.

Sitharaman, who had come to Chennai for an event, also avoided government car and escort vehicles and arrived at the airport in a BJP leader’s car.

The Defence Minister was scheduled to board a special aircraft but shortly before her departure time, the Election Commission announced the schedule for the seven-phase polls commencing on April 11 and imposed the Model Code of Conduct.

Sitharaman then took a private carrier’s 8.40 pm flight to Delhi, the BJP said in a release.

Airport sources said she had also told officials not to come to the terminal to see her off.

Among other things, the code of conduct bars the government from announcing any policy move that may impact voters’ decision and restrains ministers from making use of official machinery or personnel.

(With inputs from PTI)