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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Hours after Union Cabinet decided to ban use of red beacons atop the vehicles of dignitaries and government officials, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday issued a directive seeking removal of red beacon lights from vehicles of VIPs in State with immediate effect.

The Cabinet decision comes into effect from May 1.

However, barring emergency services, beacons -- the blue flasher -- will be allowed only on vehicles belonging to the fire service, police, army and ambulances, to ensure passage through traffic.

The decision to ban, taken at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will also be effective on the vice-president, the chief justice of India, Union ministers, chief ministers, State cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.

The move comes a month after chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab – Yogi Adityanath and Amarinder Singh, respectively decided against the use of the red beacon on their official cars.

Last month, leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra had stopped using the red beacon on his vehicle.

“I am not in favour of using the red beacon in the vehicle of the Leader of Opposition. Therefore, I am no more using it,” said Mishra. The veteran Congress leader, who represents Bolangir Assembly constituency, had also asked the government not to provide him police escort during his tours and also sought withdrawal of the security.

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