Maran's party colleague and fellow minister A Raja also travelled in the same aircraft, but in the executive class. Raja was also booked in the economy class but was upgraded thanks to his frequent flier miles.
Interestingly, six other DMK members of Parliament also travelled in the same aircraft but in the executive class, visibly embarrassed at seeing their minister in the economy class.
Two major allies of the UPA, Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party and the DMK, have accepted the Centre's austerity drive and agreed to a voluntary 20 per cent salary cut for their ministers.
Tamil Nadu's opposition party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, on the other hand, has publicly stated that the UPA;s 'austerity drive' is a mockery and a mere showpiece.