Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has denied any change in his government’s policy on the use of red beacon lights on vehicles, categorically ruling out dilution of the same.
The clarification came after an extract from the Congress poll manifesto, exempting the chief minister and his council of ministers, started doing the rounds of the social media as a Transport Department notification on the use of red beacons on Tuesday. An official spokesperson said the Transport Department had erroneously put out a part of the poll manifesto, which the social media had picked up and published as an official notification.
The Transport Department later withdrew the purported order, even as the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to have the correct notification sent to him for immediate approval and issuance, according to the spokesperson.
There has been no order yet on the issue of red beacons, said the spokesperson, adding that a notification was expected to be issued soon following the Chief Minister’s directives on the same.
The manifesto of the Punjab Congress had exempted the Chief Minister and his council of ministers from the proposed ban on red beacons but the entire cabinet, led by Captain Amarinder, had voluntarily decided to give up these beacons during the maiden meeting of the cabinet, which had ratified the poll promise as a policy decision, said the spokesperson. He pointed out that the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues had themselves got the red beacons removed from their vehicles within hours of the cabinet decision.
Asserting that there was no question of any change in this stand, the spokesperson said the Captain Amarinder government was fully committed to shedding VIP culture, of which red beacon has for long been the most visible symbol. In fact, he pointed out, Captain Amarinder had been personally appealing to all political leaders, party MLAs and others to cooperate in the move to give up the VIP culture in the larger interest of the state and its democratic polity.