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‘Lal batti’ culture: Modi bans red beacons for central govt ministers, officials; PM, Prez exempt

New Delhi: In what could be seen as a major step towards ending the VIP culture prevalent in India, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday banned the use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries, including the central and state ministers and other VVIPs.

The prime minister banned the “lal batti culture” at the meeting of the cabinet ministers on Wednesday. The decision 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.

Gadkari, who has removed his own beacon, said that red beacon will be allowed only on emergency service vehicles from May 1.

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.

DC/ANI inputs