Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma on Saturday took a jibe at the Congress government's bid of ending the VIP culture in Punjab, saying that banning use of beacons is futile if the ministers in neighboring state still travel with a number security guards.
Sharma told The Statesman that merely advertising something is not enough as people believe in performance. "Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today reached the Chandigarh Airport to greet Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.
The minister was escorted by a number of security personnel. Accompanied by so many guards, the aim of ending VIP culture cannot be accomplished," he said.
Sharma is a senior BJP leader in Haryana having charge of education, tourism and parliamentary affairs.
His statement on the issue came after even his own party's newly elected Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has announced to end the VIP culture by banning red beacons in his own state.
However, the minister kept mum when he was asked about banning the use of red beacons by the Chief Minister, ministers and other VIPs on the pattern of the neighboring states.
Immediately after coming to power in Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh led Congress, with a view to end the VIP culture in the state, put a ban on use beacons on government vehicles, foreign travel of ministers for two years and organising of banquets on state expense.
Punjab's move has even been welcomed in other states with Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary also advocated the ban on the use of beacons on VIP vehicles.
After the Punjab government's move, a Chandigarh based RTI activist also approached the Haryana government to ban the use of red beacons culture in the state too.
RTI activist R K Garg in his representation to Haryana Chief Secretary D S Dhesi has requested the latter for reviewing and restricting the use of red beacons in Haryana immediately on the pattern of other states where the use of beacons on vehicles a symbol of VIP culture were restricted irrespective of their political ideology.
Garg even cited examples of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh where governments have announced to end VIP culture.