Yogi ministers follow Modi govt’s decision on ‘beacon-free’ movement
After UP health minister Siddharth Nath Singh, who had stopped the use of hooters in his official vehicle after taking oath of office, more ministers joined the ‘no beacon’ chorus.lucknow Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:04 IST
Ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government started taking ‘lal battis’ (red beacons) off their official vehicles in line with the Centre’s decision to do away with the symbols of power.
After UP health minister Siddharth Nath Singh, who had stopped the use of hooters in his official vehicle after taking oath of office, more ministers joined the ‘no beacon’ chorus.
Power minister Shrikant Sharma also started travelling without beacon from Wednesday.
The move was welcomed by the people, especially activists like city based-surgeon Dr RK Verma, who had over the last couple of years written seven letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and four to the Supreme Court calling for an end to the ‘VIP culture’.
“It used to be such a nuisance. Imagine those whom you have elected passing by you, raising an irritating noise as if announcing their new-found power and status. With flashers and hooters gone, there would hopefully be less noise pollution too,” Verma said, adding the decision would bring the government closer to the people.
That the politicians were in agreement was apparent with deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi and social welfare minister Ramapati Shastri removing beacons from their vehicles.
There are indications that nearly all Yogi ministers would go ‘beacon free’ before May 1 when the Modi government’s decision is likely to come into force.
“We are against the culture of flaunting power. Our government is devoted to the cause of the poor, dalits and marginalised section. This decision reflects our desire to bridge the distance between the government and the people,” deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said.
“After no-hooters, the rate at which UP ministers have started taking off beacons showcases our government’s desire to come closer to the real masters – the people who elect us,” agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi said.
Barely three days after coming to power, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had urged his ministers not to use hooters and sirens. In 2013, the apex court had described the use of beacon by ministers and government officials as “ridiculous”.
Around the same time, a political controversy of sorts was triggered when an official at the regional transport office (RTO) in Rampur took off the red beacon from the vehicle of the then Rampur MP Jaya Prada.