Home / Politics / Policy /  Red beacon ban: Every Indian is a VIP, says Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Every Indian is a VIP and the culture of beacons on VIP vehicles should have gone long ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, hours after the red beacon ban was announced by the government.

The red beacon ban—announced by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday—applies to the prime minister, president and chief ministers as well, and exempts emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire brigade.

“These symbols are out of touch with the spirit of new India," Modi said, responding to a tweet by a follower who described as “historic" the decision to prohibit all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, from using beacons from 1 May.

The vehicles with red beacons, which are seen as a symbol of VIP culture, “have no place in a democratic country", the government said after the decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting.

“It should have gone long ago. Glad that today a strong beginning has been made," Modi said in response to another tweet.

“Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP," he added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while briefing the media about the cabinet decisions, said the matter was under discussion for some time and “the prime minister took the decision and informed the cabinet."

Jaitley said amendments will be made soon in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules to give effect to the decision.

“After 1 May, no one will be able to put red light atop his/her vehicle. Blue light will be used only for emergency vehicles in the country...Neither the states nor the Centre will have power to give any special permission (for use of beacon lights)," Jaitley said.

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