Wednesday, 19 April 2017 18:15
Panaji: Minutes after the Union cabinet took the decision to ban the use of red beacon lights atop vehicles of dignitaries and government officials, on Wednesday, chief minister Manohar Parrikar and some of his colleagues from the alliance parties gave up the lal batti Wednesday evening.
The Union Cabinet's decision comes into effect from May 1. No VIP, dignitary or official at the Centre and states will be able to use any beacon — red or blue — on his/her vehicles. There will be no exceptions even for the Prime Minister, President and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Only emergency service vehicles like ambulances, fire brigade and police cars will use blue beacons.
Besides Parrikar, who said that he personally did not believe in the red beacon and promptly offered to surrender it, all GFP ministers — town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai, water resources minister Vinod Palyekar, and housing minister Jayesh Salgaonkar — also got the red beacon removed from their official vehicles. Tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar was among the first to get the red beacon off his car. Other ministers will follow suit, sources in the government said.
Parrikar said that beacons atop vehicles are perceived symbols of the VIP culture in the country, which has to change.
The CM said that barring the Prime Minister and President, energy and resources should not be spent on VIP protection, and added, “I believe that the VIP culture has to be reduced, as it is something wrong that is being perpetrated in our country. I am very clear on that. Security is a mindset. And security can be achieved with two, three or four people.”
Initially maintaining that he was unaware of the cabinet decision, Parrikar said he would implement the central government directive if it was sent to the state.