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Aug 12, 2011 at 09:07pm IST

MPs not ready to be common man, seek red beacon

New Delhi: It is the age old lure of the lal batti - the symbol of power and status. The country may be agitated over issues like rising inflation, land acquisition and assorted scams but our members of Parliament are vexed over just why they have been deprived of that red beacon.

Led by Congress MP Avtar Singh Bhadana, a hundred legislators have signed a petition to the Chairman of the Privileges Committee demanding they be given their due privilege - the lal batti, reserved only for ministers.

Here is the rationale. Err, Mr Bhadana, like fellow Congressman Suresh Kalmadi, it appears has had a temporary memory lapse. His Party President had only recently warned all "avoid the lal batti culture".

Some in the Opposition like once minister Shahnawaz Hussein who rode the red beacon is sympathetic but says you got to earn it.

Hussein said, "We know the janata will give it to us when we choose."

Well not paying toll taxes, better maneuvering through traffic etc may be the upside of owning a lal batti. But the ministers battling a belligerent Opposition will tell you that with great privilege comes great responsibility.

Ashwini Kumar said, "Please take away my lal batti. I have no use for it."