Hours after the Union Cabinet decided to do away with red beacons on top of officials cars, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said, “Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP.” The Prime Minister was responding to a tweet that hailed his government’s decision to remove red beacons atop official cars. While responding to comments on Twitter, PM Modi also said that it was out of touch with the spirit of ‘new India’.
The Prime Minister’s response comes after the Union Cabinet decision today to ban red beacons atop vehicles of VVIPs, excluding the President, Vice President and Chief Justice of India. Many Cabinet ministers, such as Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, as well as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, have already removed red beacons from their official cars. The decision is to be implemented by May 1.
While briefing the press regarding the decision, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said, “A red light can be carried in vehicles of high dignitaries specified by the Central and State government. Now, neither in state or centre the government will be able to nominate any members to use the red beacon. There are no exceptions.” He added that the rule will not apply to the fire brigade, ambulance services, police vehicles and other emergency services, which will be allowed to use the blue beacon.
The ban will apply to the Prime Minister, all Union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges in the High Court and Supreme Court.
The Union Cabinet’s decision comes close on the heels of the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab governments’ decision against the use of ‘lal batti’ on official cars.