Maha govt reduces security cover of Fadnavis, Raj Thackeray

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 10-01-2021 15:59 IST | Created: 10-01-2021 15:59 IST
Maha govt reduces security cover of Fadnavis, Raj Thackeray

The Maharashtra government hasreduced the security cover of Leader of Opposition in theAssembly Devendra Fadnavis and his family, former UP governorRam Naik and MNS president Raj Thackeray, and withdrawn thesecurity cover of state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil.

State BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye termed it as''vendetta politics'', while former chief minister Fadnavis saidthis would not impact his plans to travel and meet people.

However, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh rejectedthe opposition BJP's charge and said the security of politicalleaders was reviewed as per the prevailing threat perception.

As per a government notification issued on January 8,Fadnavis will now get 'Y-plus security with escort', insteadof the 'Z-plus' cover.

The security of his wife Amruta Fadnavis and daughterDivija has been downgraded from 'Y-plus with escort' to 'X'category.

Former Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik will now get'Y' cover instead of 'Y-plus'.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray's security cover has beendowngraded from 'Z' to 'Y plus with escort'.

The security covers of BJP leader and former CMNarayan Rane, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and seniorparty leader Sudhir Mungantiwar have been withdrawn. Rane had'Y-plus' security.

Besides, the security of state Lokayukta M L Tahilianihas been downgraded from 'Z' to 'Y'.

According to sources, the 'Z-plus' security comprisesa bullet-proof car, a police inspector, two assistant policeinspectors, two police sub-inspectors, two escort vehicleswith six constables in each, and 10 other constables at anygiven point of time, while the 'Z' category has a securitycover of 22 personnel.

The 'Y' category comprises a security cover of 11personnel, while the 'X' category has a security cover of twopersonnel, the sources said.

The government, as per the notification, has upgradedthe security of two persons, downgraded of 11, withdrawn of16, while 13 new people have got security cover.

Prominent among the new persons to get security areSunetra Pawar, wife of state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,and Varun Sardesai, secretary of the Yuva Sena and nephew ofChief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's wife Rashmi Thackeray.

Both have been given 'X' security cover.

Union minister Ramdas Athawale will get only 'Y-plus'security instead of the 'Y-plus with escort', while centralminister Raosaheb Danve's 'Y-plus' cover has been withdrawn.

The government has also withdrawn the security coverof former minister Rajkumar Badole, BJP MLAs Prasad Lad andRam Kadam, and former speaker and BJP legislator HaribhauBagde.

The state has also withdrawn the 'X' category securityof former Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh, who quitthe party, and BJP's former minister Shobhatai Fadnavis, anaunt of Devendra Fadnavis.

Senior advocate Ujjwal Nikam's 'Y-plus with escort'cover has been upgraded to 'Z', while film actor and Congressleader Shatrughan Sinha's 'Y-plus' cover has been upgraded to'Y-plus with escort'.

The security of BJP's former minister Ashish Shelarhas been downgraded from 'Y-plus' to 'Y'.

State Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje NaikNimbalkar and Relief and Rehabilitation minister VijayWadettiwar will get 'Y-plus with escort', while Shiv Sena MLAVaibhav Naik, who had defeated Narayan Rane in the 2014Assembly polls, will get 'X' security cover.

Current state ministers Sandeepan Bhumre, Sunil Kedar,Dilip Walse Patil and Abdul Sattar, Leader of Opposition inthe Council Pravin Darekar and state Assembly's Deputy SpeakerNarhari Zhirwal have been given 'Y' cover.

Meanwhile, state BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye allegedthat the security of Fadnavis and other BJP leaders wasdowngraded out of ''political vendetta''.

''The decision shows what kind of a mindset thegovernment has, and it is unfortunate. During the COVID-19lockdown period, Fadnavis was travelling to the nook andcorner of the state, while Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wassitting at home,'' he claimed.

Upadhye said Fadnavis was the first to reach Bhandarawhere 10 babies died in fire at a hospital on Saturday.

''Even if the entire security cover is removed, he(Fadnavis) would continue to travel in the state and highlightthe voice of the people,'' the BJP leader said.

Reacting to the government's decision, Fadnavis saidhe had no complaints or worry.

''I am a people's person and this doesn't impact mytravel (schedules) to meet people,'' he said.

Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, state Home MinisterAnil Deshmukh rejected Upadhye's charge and said the decisionto review the security cover of several leaders and prominentpersonalities has been taken as perthe threat perception,irrespectiveof political affiliations.

''A committee of five senior officers was set up toreview the security and take a decision as per the threatperception,'' he said.

Deshmukh said even NCP chief Sharad Pawar, whose partyis an ally of the Shiv Sena in the state government, calledhim over phone, asking that his security cover be downgraded.

''During the BJP's rule, Sharad Pawar and Deputy ChiefMinister Ajit Pawar did not have any security. Sharad Pawarhas also written a letter seeking reduction in his security,''the minister said.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Narayan Rane said he was givensecurity by Mumbai police because he had a threat fromterrorists.

''I have no complaints. If anything happens to me, thestate government is to be blamed,'' he said.

Sudhir Mungantiwar said he was given security due toNaxal threat.

''I thank the government for withdrawing my securitycover. This means the Naxal threat doesn't exist. Our aim tohighlight people's voice will be more stronger,'' he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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