DEHRA DUN: With the change of guard in Uttarakhand, the ubiquitous "lal battis" (cars with beacon lights) which according to political observers here were one of the reasons for the Congress defeat in the recent elections may soon be off the roads.

BJP leader B. C. Khanduri has made it clear that he would not allow misuse of "lal battis" in the State. Chief Secretary S. K. Das has issued an order stating that all those posts of ministerial status whose bearers got "lal battis" have been withdrawn, official sources said. The "lal battis" became a major election issue in Uttarakhand as the outgoing N. D. Tiwari Government had bestowed ministerial status along with cars with beacon lights on nearly 300 party leaders. Many of these leaders contested the recent elections as rebel candidates leading to the defeat of the party.

Several Congress leaders have admitted that the rebels created more trouble for Congress than the main opposition BJP in the elections. Some senior BJP leaders have demanded that the new Government adopt austerity measures. - PTI