Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

End of VIP culture? No beacon lights even for PM Modi

End of VIP culture? No beacon lights even for PM Modi

The Congress termed it as mere "symbolic politics".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always surprised with his decisions may it be note ban to digital push to many other decisions.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was the early trendsetter to remove the red beacon from his vehicle.

"From May 1, no red beacon will be allowed atop any official vehicle". The legislation doesn't even exempt vehicles transporting the country's prime minister, president, or heads of states. "Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment", Naidu, who holds the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, told reporters in New Delhi.

The Cabinet also announced that the use of red beacon will be allowed on vehicles attached to emergency services, like ambulance and police. "It is a central rule and is being abolished from the rule book", Jaitley said. This means such vehicles can henceforth be used only by emergency services like ambulances or the law and order establishment.

Currently, besides the heads of the government, many other dignitaries including the Lok Sabha Speaker, Chief Justice of India, Chief Justices of High Courts, Supreme Court judges, State Governors and Chief Ministers and the Leader of Opposition are allowed to use red beacons on their vehicles.

Vehicles used in emergency services would need to use a blue beacon with a flasher.

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The rule will be effective May 1, 2017.

Union ministers Mahesh Sharma and Vijay Goel get their red beacons removed from their respective cars after cabinet decision.

In the past months the newly elected chief ministers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh banned the beacons for state officials. "They have no relevance whatsoever", Gadkari reasoned.

"Within a few hours of the decision, "#EveryoneVIPinNewIndia" became the top trend on Twitter.

The Government has taken the decision with a view to strengthening "healthy democratic values" in the country. Only emergency services will have red beacon, I have also removed it from my vehicle today. Except PM, President, who are basically a focal point of the nation, we should not spare unnecessary time on VIP protection.

"This is not something new. Neither the states nor the Centre will have power to give any special permission (for use of beacon lights)", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Cabinet meeting.

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