Congress minister in Bihar Ashok Choudhary wants an end to the 'lal batti' culture in the state.
A Congress minister in Bihar wants his state to follow the footsteps of Punjab. Taking cue from Punjab, a Congress minister in Bihar on Tuesday demanded an end to the use of lal batti or red beacon on the official vehicles of ministers in the state. Punjab Education Minister Ashok Choudhary, who is also state unit chief of the Congress, said, "Yes, I have demanded an end to the VIP culture on the lines of the Punjab government."
All vehicles of ministers and top officials should be without the beacon, Mr Choudhary told the media in Patna. His demand was supported by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party but was met with scepticism by ally and ruling Janata Dal-United. JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said VIP culture was misused in Punjab due to the drug menace. In Bihar, there was no such problem, he said.
Last Saturday, Punjab's newly-appointed Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered the removal of beacons from all government vehicles, including his own. The Punjab Cabinet announced an end to the use of red beacons on official vehicles by the Chief Minister, ministers, legislators and officers.
The Congress government assumed charge in Punjab on March 16 after the party swept the assembly polls on March 11, winning 77 of the 117 assembly seats.
In 2015, soon after the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Delhi and hours after taking oath, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too had announced that neither he nor any of his cabinet ministers will travel in cars with red beacon.