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'Red flags' to replace 'red beacons', Will ‘VIP culture’ come back in Haryana?

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Chandigarh, July 30: Three years ago, it was the same Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government that abolished the 'VIP culture' in Haryana by removing red beacons on vehicles of lawmakers.

Manohar lal Khattar

But now, it can be seen that somehow the state seems to have found a backdoor entry into the mansion of elitism with a new directive. Though it is different from the previous one, it is very similar to the 'VIP' lifestyle.

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Members of Legislative Assembly in Haryana are soon set to get "red-flagged" as the vehicles they will be travelling in will be allowed to flaunt a different 'insignia' of their special status. The privilege will be allowed for both their official and personal vehicles.

According to reports, all 90 MLAs in the state will receive a "red flag" which will bear the logo of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha and Member of Haryana Vidhan Sabha-MLA. The lawmakers are expected to receive the flags before the upcoming monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha next month.

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However, state Vidhan Sabha Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said the flags do not symbolise any 'VIP culture', and they were given only to help "identify and give due recognition to the MLAs when they are on the road".

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    In April, the Union Cabinet ordered the removal of red beacons from all vehicles, including that of the Prime Minister. PM Modi had back then hailed the decision and said, "Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP. It should have gone long ago. Glad that today a strong beginning has been made. These symbols are out of touch with the spirit of new India."

    "Generally speaking, in our country there exists an atmosphere of disdain towards the VIP culture. But that it runs so very deep, I just experienced, when the government recently decided that no person in India, whatsoever his status might be, will move with a red beacon atop his vehicle. In a way, it had become a symbol of the VIP culture. Experience tells us that whereas the red beacon used to be fixed atop the vehicle, atop the car, slowly and steadily it permeated into the psyche and got firmly entrenched in the mindset," PM Modi had said.

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