No lal battis or police escorts for cars, decides Arvind Kejriwal's new cabinet

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New Delhi: 

Hours after taking oath today, the Delhi cabinet decided that no minister or government official will be allowed to use the red beacon or lal batti that signals a VIP's car and confers right of way.

Following that order, authorities removed red beacons from vehicles at the Secretariat in Delhi.

The cabinet also said that ministers will not be provided escort vehicles, though some may be allowed security depending on threat assessments. (Kejriwal takes charge, vows 'we are here to serve')

The decisions deliver on the pre-election promises of Arvind Kejriwal, who was sworn in today as Delhi's seventh chief minister. In a city where the screeching sirens and flashing red lights of politicians' cars have been used as a status symbol, he vowed that his party would expunge VIP culture. (Meet the ministers in Kejriwal's team)

His Aam Aadmi Party or AAP used a mass contact program to campaign among the city's smallest and poorest neighbourhoods with astounding results.  It placed second in the election, relegating the ruling Congress to a distant third, and keeping the BJP from landing a majority.

Mr Kejriwal and his ministers have refused the sprawling bungalows with lush gardens usually given to ministers.  The chief minister earlier this week refused to accept police security.  In a letter to the Delhi Police, he professed, "God is my biggest security."



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