Abolition of ‘lal batiis’ a good move, says Soz

Former union minister and senior Congress leader, Prof Saifuddin Soz, on Thursday welcomed the Centre’s decision to abolish to the use of red beacons on top of the vehicles used by government officials and dignitaries.

Soz in a statement said, “I welcome the GoI’s decision to abolish Lal Batti on VIP vehicles. This decision was long overdue.”

“Personally speaking, I belonged to the category of parliamentarians who saw dignity in their simplicity. At this moment, we must not lose sight of the fact that Arvind Kejriwal and Amarinder Singh, CMs of Delhi and Punjab, respectively, had already rejected this awkward culture of Lal-Battis,” he said.

He further said, “I regret to say that some parliamentarians wanted to throw their weight around and that was only their vanity. I relate this move to an incident how I had got a hoarding, put-up by Air India, removed as that indicated a special counter for MPs. On my complaint, the then Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel, had got the hoarding removed from all the airports in India.”

“My plea was that if MPs wanted special counters for ticketing etc., then the judges, legislators and other categories of high ranking citizens would also want it and there would be no end to this awkward practice. I had refused to board the flight unless the hoarding was removed. I feel happy now that my complaint then had a telling effect on the system,” he added.

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