NEW DELHI: Cutting across party lines, members of the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday objected to the breach in five-minute time limit for VVIP route traffic restrictions by the police in the national capital.
Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Aggarwal said, “We are stopped as if we are peons. The way they (traffic police personnel) talk to us is also not appropriate during the VIP route restrictions. This VIP route culture is not prevalent anywhere in the world, but it is prevalent only in India.”
“Their (NDA/BJP) Chief Ministers are preaching that the ministers would not use red beacons on their cars. But we strongly object to the way VVIP route restrictions are imposed. We have to wait for 10 to 15 minutes during VIP route restrictions,” Aggarwal added.
Seconding Aggarwal, Congress MP Anand Sharma said, “This is a serious issue. They close three roads at the same time for one VVIP. I have waited for about 17 minutes during a VIP route restriction when I was on my way to Parliament to attend the joint sessions earlier this year.”
“We have seen traffic police for the first time in the Parliament premise. You have the 'watch and ward' staff. There should be some way to deal with the situation as MPs have to attend the Parliament sessions,” Sharma further said.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “There should be VIP route restrictions for security reasons but the issue is about the time limit. Besides, all roads should not be closed. Only one route should be secured for the VIP.”
Other Samajwadi Party MP Prof Ram Gopal Yadav said, "Senior BJP leader L K Advani himself had raised this issue earlier in Parliament. It was decided that nobody would be stopped for more than five minutes (during VIP route restrictions). I was in the House that time.”
"VVIP security is of utmost importance. This security should not be compromised at all. It should be done in such a way that it creates least impediments to the MPs. There should be careful managing of this," Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said when the issue was raised in the House.
Responding to the Opposition’s charge, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “This system was not put in place in the last two and half years (of BJP/NDA rule). This has been a practice earlier also due to security reasons.”
“The members should appreciate that the security arrangements are made by the security agencies in view of the Parliament attack. This issue should not be taken up as special privilege.”