Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

"Every Indian is a VIP\", says Modi after ending Lal Batti culture

Goa/Maharashtra: Following the announcement made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that lal batti or red beacons will be banned for everybody including the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar have both removed red beacon light from their official cars today.

Paving the way, Gadkari became the first minister to remove red beacons from his official vehicles.

FILE - In this October 18, 2014 file photo, former chief minister of India's Tamil Nadu state Jayaram Jayalalitha travels in a vehicle accompanied by a row of cars with red beacon lights after being released from a prison in Bangalore, India.

Jaitley said to implement the decision the Road Transport Ministry will have to delete Rule 108 (1)(iii) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules that allow use of red beacons by high dignitaries. "We can issue the notification under respective rules and before that, a notice will be issued for public hearing", he said. "Only defined emergency services will be allowed to use blue beacons with flasher", Jaitley said. Now, neither in state or centre the government will be able to nominate any members to use the red beacon.

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.

"Within a few hours of the decision, "#EveryoneVIPinNewIndia" became the top trend on Twitter. "The decision would further strengthen the democracy", he said, after he directed the government staff to remove the red beacon from the official vehicle of the CM.

In a tweet, the PM said: "Every Indian is special".

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Yogi Adityanath, who completed a month as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister today, has also warned his ministers and bureacrats not to misuse red beacons.

The Congress, however, termed the decision as "symbolic politics" and "ridiculous".

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