**Bhubaneswar: ** Taking a cue from the newly formed Congress-ruled Punjab Government and which has also been reportedly followed suit by the new BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh Government, Odisha Leader of Opposition-cum-senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra also shuns the deep-rooted VVIP culture of using red light atop official vehicle and police escort.
In his letter dashed to the Chief Secretary on Thursday (March 23), Mishra stated, “I am not in favour of using red light in the vehicle of the Leader of Opposition.
Therefore, I am no more using it in my vehicle. I also don’t require police escort during my tours. Neither within the district of Balangir nor outside the district. So the police escort facility provided to me may be withdrawn.”
He has also forwarded a copy to the Principal Secretary of the State Commerce & Transport Department for necessary action.
In his media reactions, the Leader of Opposition said, “I personally realized that there is no need for red light atop my vehicle. Also realized that, the escort party provided to me while on outside tour is also not required. Hence, I wrote to the Chief Secretary and apprised him.”
Odisha unit BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma remarked, “Why didn’t he withdraw himself from it the day he became Leader of Opposition and was provided with the facilities? He seeks to reap double benefits.”
BJD spokesperson Dibya Shankar Mishra commented, “The importance of the red light is an indicator. The traffic police give priority to pave path for the VIP. It doesn’t points at any class difference or status symbol. Each Indian citizen has same rights to enjoy. I believe that the facility is a must for those very important persons to whom we in our democracy have adorned with a coveted post. In my personal opinion I object to the siren-blaring cavalcade or carcade, but a VIP should have the red light on his/her vehicle so that the police and administration can be able to make the passage smooth while on road.”