Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti believes that ministers are entitled to delay flights by five to seven if they are busy attending meetings. Defending her colleagues, she said postponing “crucial meetings” may result in heavy losses. “If any minister is going for his duty, then using a red beacon to stop traffic is fine,” she said on Monday.

The Union minister, however, asserted that such privileges come with a rider – ministers can enjoy such benefits only when on duty and not on their own time. “If a minister is going to attend a wedding or is on a personal trip, this privilege should not continue then,” Bharti said.

Her comments follow the Punjab government’s move to ban government vehicles from using “lal battis”. Bharti, however, believes that the common practice of attaching red beacon atop ministers’ vehicles should be continued.