Not Without My Lal Batti, Says Karnataka Minister, Defying PM Modi's Ban

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Not Without My Lal Batti, Says Karnataka Minister, Defying PM Modi's Ban

Minister UT Khader said he will remove the lal batti only if Siddaramaiah asks him to do so.


Karnataka:  After Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's initial reluctance to do away with the red beacon or lal batti from his official car, in compliance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's order, one of his ministers in the Congress government has refused to fall in line with the ban that came into force yesterday.

He said he would remove the lal batti only if the Chief Minister directs him to do so. "If the Chief Minister asks me to remove the red beacon, I will obey his instruction and remove it," Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader said. 

He argued that since the state government has given him the vehicle attached with a red beacon, he doesn't have the right to make alterations. Let the central government bring into force such a notification, he demanded.

"I do not have power to alter my car. It is left to the cabinet to decide," he said. 

Mocking the central government's ban, he said the aim of the government should be to bring common people to the level of VIPs if it wants to end the 'VIP culture'. He said, "It's not that I am moving around with the red beacon on my head. It is installed on my car." 

"Having said that," the Congress minister added, "I am not saying no, but most importantly it should introduce schemes wherein it is possible to fill the stomachs of people and provide education." 

The AAP government in Delhi was the first to bar its ministers from using red beacons on their official vehicles. Captain Amarinder Singh, too, made a similar demand from his cabinet when he became the Chief Minister of Punjab in March. 

Now, under the central government ban, only blue beacons are allowed on emergency vehicles like the police, ambulance and fire tenders.


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