Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has apologised on Twitter after traffic near the National Sports Complex of India (NSCI) in Mumbai was halted for nearly two hours on Sunday where he attended a fashion show organised to raise money for cancer patients.
To ensure a smooth arrival and departure for Mr Fadnavis, the entry gates to the NSCI club were shut, even for members, causing a three kilometre long traffic jam in the area. The people who tried to protest the blockade were allegedly pushed aside by the police causing a lot of anger among the member community.
"Why did cops shut the gates? On whose orders? I don't know but a lot of members have suffered and it's shameful that we cannot use our own club. It's our second home. It's not a good sign," said Alpesh Shah, who has been a member of the club for 30 years.
Even the people who came to watch the fashion show had to suffer a great deal because of the VIP arrangements made for the chief minister, and some even left without watching the show.
"Many members who came for the show left without watching because the doors were shut and they were made to wait for so long," said another club member. "Others parked their vehicles 15 minutes away and walked the distance," he added.
After the incident was brought up with the police, Mr Fadnavis tweeted saying that he doesn't believe in VIP culture, and added that he will order an enquiry into the matter.
I don't believe in VIP culture. Unless there is emergency or real threat perception inputs police shouldn't trouble the people.- Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 1, 2015
My sincere apologies to those who were stopped by police unnecessarily. People in the state have always seen me stopping at traffic signals.- Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 1, 2015
I would make inquiry into the NSCI incidence.Its unfortunate that people are put to such trouble.- Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 1, 2015
"My cabinet colleagues and I are against VIP culture and because of that ministers have not been given escort. Mumbai police is used to such culture. They will have to be sensitized, we want to change this. I have passed orders regarding this," said the chief minister.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jayakumar confirmed to NDTV that they have received instructions from the chief minister and said that such an incident will not be repeated.