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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 12:59 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 12:59 AM (IST)

Ministers, MLAs in hurry to remove ‘lal batti’

Centre had on Tuesday decided to ban use of red beacons

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20

Ruling party politicians, ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats in the state were in a hurry today to remove red and amber beacons from atop their vehicles. The Central government had yesterday banned their use and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described the “lal batti” culture as out of touch with the spirit of new India.

Pictures of politicians and bureaucrats removing “lal batti” from atop their vehicles themselves are being posted on the social media and some of these have become viral.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar took the initiative when he set out of his residence in his official car without the usual red light atop. However, Khattar did not indulge in any kind of ostentation in this regard.

He retweeted Modi’s tweet, “Every Indian is special, every Indian is VIP”. Health Minister Anil Vij also removed the beacon without any display of emotion.

Later, Industries Minister Vipul Goyal’s picture was posted in WhatsApp groups showing him removing ‘laal batti’ from his official car outside his office in Sector 16, Faridabad. Urban Development Minister Kavita Jain was shown removing the beacon from her car in Chandigarh.

State BJP president Subhash Barala removed the red light from his vehicle at Karnal and posted his photographs on the social media. Soon, his party MLA from Nilokheri Bhagwan Dass Kabirpanthi and district BJP president Ashok Sukhija followed suit.

In another picture, Cooperation Minister Manish Grover is seen standing near his official car as his driver removes the red light. In yet another picture, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Seema Trikha is seen perched on the body of her official car posing for a picture while removing the ‘’lal batti’.

Nuh Deputy Commissioner Mani Ram Sharma also posted his pictures removing the light. “The eagerness some VVIPs showed while removing red lights from their vehicles gives the impression as if someone has been forcing them to use these status symbols,” said an official in the civil secretariat here.

Some other bureaucrats, however, felt that the decision to shun red lights was not a wise one and it amounts to compromising with the safety and security of VVIPs.

Notably, Haryana had 12 categories of VVIPs using red lights with flashers, seven others using it without flasher and 34 using amber beacons with flasher, besides those who were entitled to blue lights and multi-coloured lights.

VC removes light from official car

Rewari: Prof SP Bansal, Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Indira Gandhi University (IGU) at Meerpur village here, on Thursday removed the red beacon atop his official car. Bansal, while talking to media, said the epic step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the use of red lights atop vehicles would  strengthen democracy and the VVIP culture.

All MLAs told to follow PM’s orders: Barala

Karnal: State BJP president Subhash Barala today welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to ban the use of red beacon atop vehicles and removed the beacon from his car in the city. He said all BJP legislators and other leaders had been told to follow the Prime Minister’s directions.

Several MLAs and leaders had removed red lights from their vehicles while other would do so soon, he said.

Barala had a short stay in the city while going towards Delhi from Chandigarh. He along with BJP district president and Nilokheri MLA Bhagwan Dass Kabirpanthi, Kurukshetra Vikas Board general secretary Ashok Sukhija removed the red light from his car in the city.

Asked about resentment among party MLAs, he said the issue would be resolved soon.


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