Reacting to Twitterati's appreciation on the government's decision to ban the use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries, including the central and state ministers and other VVIPs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that every Indian is special and a VIP.
Replying to the people's tweets, Prime Minister Modi said he is glad that a strong beginning has been made.
The Prime Minister termed the symbols associated with the VIPs as something dissociated with the spirit of new India.
Justifying the move to ban the use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries, including the central and state ministers, the government earlier today said that VIP culture is not good for the Indian democracy.
Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told ANI in an exclusive conversation that people of the country used to get angry by the red beacon and the sirens.
"So, we decided in the Cabinet meeting that red beacon will be used only in emergency services like fire brigade, ambulances etc. A notification in this regard will be issued before May 1," he added.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while talking on the same said the use of red beacons has been an issue of public discussion since long.
"It has always been a topic of discussion as well as a controversial one. The concerned ministry was contemplating to issue an order in this regard since long. The Prime Minister after taking the decision informed the concerned ministry to implement this decision," Jaitley said.
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel while talking on the same said there is no such need for the red beacon, adding there are some more things that should be used only by selected people.
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"According to me, the Cabinet has taken a very good decision. And in reality, there is no such need of these red beacons. It is only needed during emergency. We are the servants of people and not leaders, who roam here and there by using these red beacons. The Prime minister has taken a very good decision. I am also not using it from today onwards," Goel said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Minister of State for Human Resources and Development (HRD) Upendra Kuswaha said this is a good decision, adding it sends a message to all that the lawmakers are also common people.
"Banning of red beacon is a good decision. Most of the time, the people think that we are different from the common man. So, this is a message to all that we are also common. I welcome this decision," Kushwaha said.
Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the banning of red beacon is a historic decision, adding one should be recognized by his work rather than by the beacon on the car.
"The very temperament of the honourable Prime Minister is to go closer to people, he has made an attempt to get rid of the British or Colonial reminiscences which was there through red lights or beacons. It is a great decision. This is a decision which will be loved by a common man," Rudy told ANI.
In what could be seen as a major step towards ending the VIP culture prevalent in India, the government earlier today banned the use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries, including the central and state ministers and other VVIPs.
As per sources, the decision taken by the Union Cabinet will be implemented from May 1.
It is reported that five categories would be allowed to use the red beacon- President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The ban applies to union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
It was reported last week that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has called a meeting to discuss whether the red beacon should be discarded or restricted to certain dignitaries.
Captain Amarinder Singh and Yogi Adityanath, the new chief ministers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, have already taken steps to either end or restrict VIP culture.
In its first cabinet meeting, chaired by Captain Amarinder, the newly formed Punjab Government decided to completely shun the VIP culture by removing the red, yellow and blue beacons from their official vehicles.