In the season of ‘aam aadmi’, Vasundhara Raje travels in second class

Her decision to travel by the ordinary class created a flutter in the Golden Temple Express, even though Bayana is just two-and-a-half hours away from Sawai Madhopur. Some of her co-passengers offered her food, while others, sensing this would be ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity, posed for photographs with her.

‘Main so rahee thee, achanak sab kehne lage, Madam aayin hai, Madam aayin hai,’ (I  was sleeping. I suddenly heard shouts of Madam is here, Madam is here. I saw her then,’’ said an old lady who was travelling in the same coach.

‘This is the kind of government we want, which can understand the concerns of the common man,’ said another traveller, a businessman from Gujarat.

Determined to make her mark in her second stint as the chief minister of Rajasthan, Raje, 60, has decided to chart a radically different course. As part of an outreach programme, she has embarked on a plan to take administration to the people’s doorsteps.

For 11 days in a month, she will lead her entire Cabinet out of the comfortable surroundings of Jaipur, and travel to divisional headquarters to do surprise checks in schools, health centres, panchayat buildings and other government facilities. She is in Bharatpur today as part of this exercise.

‘It’s important that people start connecting with their government....We have managed to do some interesting touring, see places I would not otherwise go to and spend quality time with people I normally would not spend time with,’ the chief minister said.
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