FDI divides, Red Light unites

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Delhi: Members of parliament might be having different opinions on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail sector but when it comes to using beacon lights atop their vehicles there would be hardly any difference neither on party nor on individual lines. The parliamentary privilege committe in its report submitted on Wednesday has suggested that the parliamentarians should be granted the right to use red lights atop their vehicles. That apart, the committee has recommended that protocolwise the parliamentarians should be given the status akin to the chief justices of high courts.

The privilege committe has pointed out that the bureaucracy hardly bothered about the parliamentarians due to lack of prestige and protocol status accorded to the members. Said Bhratruhari Mahatab, BJD MP,"the parliamentarians should be provided with the privileges equivalent to their status. They should be given red lights." Seconding Mahatab`s words, Congress MP Bhakta Dash said,"It is a fact that because of lower protocol status to the parliamentarians the bureaucrats hardlt have any respect for the members. As representatives of thne people and in the interest of the public we must be given our due."

The parliamentarians are positioned at number 21 in the protocol list or warrant of precidence. The privilege committe of the parliament has suggested that the MPS should be upgraded to the 17 position in the protocol list which is higher than that of a state cabinet minister. Yet states like Uttar Pradesh has already granted permission to the MPs to use red light in the state. Be that as it may, the red light issue is of course nothing new and was heard during the 12th Lok Sabha. Only time can tell whether the parliamentarians get it this time or not.

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