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Govt will not reduce security given to VIPs: Venkaiah Naidu

PTI | New Delhi |

The government has no plans to cut back on security to VIPs, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said, a day after the Centre banned the use of beacon lights atop all vehicles, except emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire brigade.

"With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment," Naidu, who holds the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, told reporters here.

About the Centre's decision to put an end to the VIP culture, he said: "Everybody is a VIP and that is the philosophy of our government."

Though it is a small initiative but it sends a message that every person should be treated equally, he added.

He hoped that state governments will also shun the used of beacons or they will face the wrath of the people.

On a query about the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the minister said the case has been going on for so many years and there is nothing new in that.

He did not elaborate on what could be the impact of the Supreme Court order in the Babri Masjid demolition case on the BJP.

Top BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case as the apex court had yesterday allowed the CBI plea to restore the charge against them.

The SC, however, noted that Rajasthan Governor Singh enjoys constitutional immunity and can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office. Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1992.

Meanwhile, amid a debate on some of the negative impacts of social media, Naidu said it cannot be censored.

"It is a larger issue. We have to think about it and discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then come to a conclusion at the end of the day," he said.

The Minsiter was speaking to reporters after inaugurating a workshop on Instagram for government employees engaged in social media communications.