On February 4, a girl stood up to the entourage of Karnataka Home Minister MB Patil, when he tried to bypass a queue to enter a temple in the state’s Vijayapura district. The Home Minister was visiting Amaraganadishara temple on Mahashivaratri when he went for a ‘special darshan’, superceding people who had been waiting there for hours. That’s when the girl, a college student, complained to the authorities and objected to the minister jumping the lines.
She reportedly told Patil,
“You may be a minister but you have to stand in the queue like all of us. You can’t expect special treatment.”
On hearing her complaint, the minister apologised to the girl and reasoned that though he wanted to stand in the queue like a common man, he didn’t do so because he had to catch a flight. He apparently replied,
“I wanted to stand in queue always but today, I have two programmes in Hubballi and then I am boarding a flight to Bengaluru.”
He also claimed that he had waived privileges of zero traffic. The explanations seemed to have convinced the girl who reportedly praised the minister’s work and posed for photographs with the minister.
Patil later tweeted,
I wouldn’t have met this spirited girl if scores of people were not waiting for me at a function in Vijayapura. Keep growing intellectually dear students.”
— M B Patil (@MBPatil) March 5, 2019
This is far from being the only case of VIP treatment given to ministers. In 2017, Jharkhand’s Chief Minister Raghubar Das was criticised for letting two women wash his feet with milk. Union Minister JP Nadda opened a new counter at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi to cater “exclusively” to cater to people referred by the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) as well as “VIP References”. Earlier that year, the central government banned red beacons atop cars of all ministers, politicians and bureaucrats.