- Starting May, ban on VIPs using lal battis on cars
- Ban used to curb VIP culture and arrogance associated with politicians
- Bengal minister: "our government has not implemented this ban"
"I fully support Arup Biswas. He was on a highway and there you have to use a beacon for safety, given the heavy traffic, the big lorries," Ms Banerjee said.
The issue of red beacon was on the state list, said the Chief Minister, who never uses a red beacon car within the city limits. "We have to decide who will use a red light, who will not. We asked the Centre for clarifications but never got any reply," she said.
The Centre's ban, she said, is "uneconomical". "If we don't use red lights on highways, then we will need an escort car which will have five securitymen in it. Our expenses will rise," the Chief Minister said.
The Centre said that to ensure there were no exceptions, it was ending the rule which allowed it and state governments to decide who can use red lights to cut through traffic while on official business.
Ms Banerjee, who is a frequent and vocal critic of the PM, has often emphasized herself as "an LIP" (Least Important Person). In a recent speech, PM Modi said "New India is not about VIPs, But EPI" -- EPI being 'Every Person is Important.'