Kolkata/ New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday strongly objected to the use of red beacon by West Bengal Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Arup Biswas despite the Centre's ban on it.
Biswas was seen using the red beacon atop his vehicle in Siliguri on Monday.
When media questioned him, he replied, "Our government has not yet banned red beacon. So, we are not bound to follow the instructions of others."
National Secretary of the BJP Rahul Sinha lambasted the Mamata Banerjee Government over it and alleged that the West Bengal Government was running on the policies of Imams like Barkati.
"Imams like Barkati are inner soul of the Trinamool Congress. Look at the language. Arup Biswas also took stand like Barkati that the Mamata Banerjee Government hasn't banned use of red beacon so why should he stop using it," said Sinha.
He said ministers like Biswas don't deserve to be minister in any state and he should resign.
Noor-ur-Rehman Barkati, the imam of Kolkata's Tipu Sultan mosque, had earlier this month was embroiled in controversy when he had refused to remove red beacon from his car. However, he had to remove it after various Muslim bodies opposed his defiant stand.
Another BJP leader Zafar Islam also launched a scathing attack on West Bengal government over Biswas' use of red beacon.
He said the Mamata Banerjee Government is only interested in power and not people.
"The Mamata Banerjee Government is only interested in power and not in serving people. They want to lead a life of VIP (Very Important Person) whereas Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly said that the people of this country are real VIPs," said Islam.
He said the use of red beacons by the ministers of Mamata Banerjee shows that power, VIP culture are important for them and not the aspirations of the common man.
Seeking to end the VIP culture, the Union Cabinet last month had decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles from May 1, except emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire brigade.
The notification mentioned that every year, the transport department of the state or union territory administration, as the case may be, shall issue a public notice bringing to the notice of the general public the list of authorities to whom the permission to use the vehicles specified.
The ban applies to union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court while President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker are exempted from the ban.