Chandigarh: A Congress MP from Punjab on Sunday alleged that he has been forced to give up his bullet-proof car and travel in his private vehicle as the state agencies have no funds to foot fuel bill.

"There is no option left with me, but to travel in my private Innova car. The filling station in Chandigarh, from where the bullet-proof Ambassador car and two other Maruti Gypsy vehicles used to get their fuel, has stopped the supply as the Punjab government has not cleared its pending bills running into lakhs of rupees," Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, Ravneet Singh Bittu told reporters.

At present, the Congress MP is being provided 'Z' Category security cover.

Bittu, grandson of former Chief Minister Beant Singh who was assassinated by terrorists here on August 31, 1995, said it was for the SAD-BJP Government to decide whether he was "vulnerable" while travelling in his private vehicle.

"For the last two months, I paid from my own pocket to foot the fuel bill as well as meeting up the expenses of two Gypsy vehicles, but I can no longer afford to do that now, which is why the Ambassador and the Gypsy vehicles are parked at my residence here," Bittu claimed.

The MP said he has 15 security officials with him, some of whom travel with him in his private vehicle these days.

Reason: Paucity of funds

Reacting to the claims made by Bittu, a senior Punjab police official, who did not want to be named, admitted that "paucity" of funds may be one issue.

But he also said that some VIPs do not adhere to the monthly fuel quota supply fixed for them.

"I am not necessarily pointing to Bittu's case, but some VIPs do far exceed the quota alloted to them and they expect unlimited (fuel) supply for their vehicles," he said.

The officer, however, also said that he will look into the Congress MP's case and try to sort out things.


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