Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) submitted a motion to adjourn the Lok Sabha after the Ministry of Civil Aviation revoked party supremo Lalu Yadav and wife Rabri Devi’s direct access to the Patna Airport tarmac. Party leader JP Narayan Yadav gave the notice on Monday asking to discuss the withdrawal of the special privileges to the couple, according to an ANI report. The Janata Dal (United) responded that the rules and regulations should be same for all former ministers. JD (U) leader K.C. Tyagi told ANI that it was not correct if it was only applied to the former Chief Minister of Bihar. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed the step saying that there is no space for VVIP culture in a democracy. BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia told the agency that this step reiterates that all citizens in a democracy are important. “It is a very welcome step by the civil aviation ministry and it also sends out a strong message that every individual is important and there is no VVIP in a democracy. This principle needs to be followed,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had started this drive earlier this year to curb VVIP culture among politicians, starting with removing the red beacons from vehicles. The beacons can only be used by ambulances, fire trucks, and police vehicles. The Ministry wrote a letter to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) about its decision to revoke the tarmac access that was granted in 2009, PTI reported. Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi, both former CMs of the state, were allowed to drive their vehicles up to the tarmac to board or deboard the airplane.
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A BCAS official told PTI, “Previous order (allowing access) was for Patna airport only, which has been withdrawn.” Lalu Yadav has been under the scanner for some time now even as he and his wife face fresh allegations in the 2013 fodder scam. The CBI had recently filed an FIR against his son and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav for a land scam and graft case.