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Giving a thumbs down to the age-old red beacon culture, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday said the idea should be discouraged as it causes inconvenience to the commoners and also cost the government.
"Look at the contrast. The newly-elected government in Punjab immediately has decided to do away entirely with read beacon. The Supreme Court also has expressed its anguish with regard to so many vehicles on the streets belonging to various ministers and executive officers. It should be discouraged because it is causing inconvenience to the common people and also costing the government," NCP leader Majeed Memon told ANI.
Asserting that the days of pomp and dignity are gone, the NCP leader said Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti must go to London and see that even its mayor would drive an ordinary car.
"The mayor is subject to challan by the police if he stops in at a forbidden area. Here, the minister is suggesting that not only red beacon should be allowed to the ministers but even the flights should wait for five-seven minutes for ministers.
This is absolutely unacceptable," he added.
Memon further stated that a minister must be more responsible and more careful.
"He should also be punctual and discipline should be observed by him or her in a greater way than the common people. Therefore, I entirely disagree with what Uma Bharti ji says," he added.
Resonating similar views, another NCP leader Tariq Anwar said, "The way the Punjab Chief Minister has taken an initiative to end the red beacon culture is good. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also going in that direction. I believe less of show off is good."
Days after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh banned the use of red beacon atop government vehicles, Uma Bharti yesterday expressed dissent over the decision, saying that delaying flights and stopping traffic for ministers is not a big issue.
"If any minister is going for his duty, then red beacon and stopping traffic is fine and even a flight can get delayed by five to seven minutes if minister is going to attend crucial meet because it might result in loss of crores of Rupees," Bharti told the media.
However, Bharti further said that if a minister is going for any personal visit then this privilege should not be given to them.
In its first cabinet meeting, chaired by Singh, the newly formed Punjab Government decided to completely shun the VIP culture by removing the red, yellow and blue beacons from their official vehicles.
"My cabinet has decided to rid the state of VIP culture. All beacon lights to be removed from vehicles of Ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats," Singh had tweeted.
Soon after the decision, beacons were removed from the vehicles of the Chief Minister and other members of the council of ministers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)