Justifying his government's decision to ban red-beacon lights in Punjab, the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said VIP culture has eroded the democratic systems of the country and alienated the common people from their own
leaders.

Reacting to reports of certain individuals refusing to let go of the red beacon status symbol, the CM said his government was committed to demolish the VIP culture in the state, as mandated by the Congress manifesto.

He urged all political leaders and others to support the initiative to purge the debt-ridden state of irrelevant power symbols, which it could ill-afford and which had no place in a progressive society.

"Such VIP frills were a legacy of the pre-independence era and had no place in a democratic and progressive society like ours," Amarinder said in a statement.

He urged all his colleagues in the government and in the party, as well as other elected representatives entitled to such privileges, not to make it an issue of prestige but to look at it as a small gesture of gratitude to the people for electing them to power.

Amarinder urged the public figures to respect people’s sentiment, saying such gestures would convey to the people the accessibility and availability of their leaders.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to implementing all the poll manifesto promises and the subsequent cabinet decisions in letter and in spirit, Amarinder said it
was not things like red beacon lights but hard work, commitment and sincerity that were the harbingers of popularity and public respect.

Pointing out that Punjabis had always been at the forefront of positive change and revolution, the chief minister exhorted all MLAs, ex MLAs and other elected leaders to set an example for the rest of the country to follow by shedding the VIP culture.

Besides removal of red beacons from VIP vehicles, the government has
initiated several other measures to rid the state of such symbolism, which Amarinder said would be implemented in toto.

He added that these far-reaching changes would not only help the political leadership to connect better with their electorate at the grassroots but also lead to considerable monetary savings for the cash-starved state exchequer.