Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh delivered on his pre-poll promise of doing away with the red beacons on cars of most VIPs and MLAs. A state government notification issued on April 15 stating that only the Governor, the Chief Justice and judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, ambulances, disaster recovery vehicles, police, fire services, and security vehicles would be permitted to use beacons on their vehicles.
However, there are a few MLAs who miss the perks that came with the beacon. A few MLAs, most of whom are first timers resisted the removal of red beacons from their cars, reports the Indian Express. An MLA speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Indian Express that after the removal of the beacon his vehicle was stopped at toll booths and he revealed how he wasn’t allowed free entry into venues of state functions.
Stopping at poll booths irked MLAs as they are exempt from paying toll tax. A Congress MLA told the India Express that ”I wouldn’t have been stopped if I had a beacon on my car. I was stopped at a toll booth counter and the attendant did not believe me when I said I was an MLA.” The MLA added that he had to show his identity card that was scrutinised by the toll booth attendant.
Another complaint of the MLAs was that since they do not have red beacons on their cars the policemen don’t salute them. Some Punjab MLAs have managed to circumvent the beacon ban. A Congress MLA told the Indian Express that some MLAs have got ‘Government of Punjab’ written on the number plates on their vehicles.
However, AAP leader in the Punjab Assembly, Harinder Singh Phoolka said that he does not mind standing in a line, the idea is to behave like a common man.